Histones and DNA binding: why do histones bind tightly to genetic material? This is a question that has perplexed scientists for years. It turns out that the answer to this question can be found in the amino-acid sequences of histone proteins, which are very similar to those in many enzymes involved in making ATP. The similarity between these two types of protein may be one reason why they work so well together with DNA polymerase as it copies genes for use by our cells!
This article explains what makes histone protein bind so tightly to DNA. In order for our bodies’ cells to create new proteins based on instructions from DNA, we need an enzyme called RNA polymerase II (PolII)to copy synthesize our DNA’s genetic material. PolIl is a protein with many subunits, and until recently the role of one component called “histone H11” had not been well-defined in this process.
However, scientists found that when they eliminated histone H11 from cells’ chromosomes, RNA polymerase II slowed down by 70%. Interestingly enough, it didn’t seem to make much difference if the rest of the histones were present or not – so what gives?
The answer can be found in two amino acid sequences within Histone 11. There are similarities between these types of proteins and those involved in making ATP (the body’s energy source). The similarity could be why they work together so well with DNA polymerase as it copies the building blocks of DNA.
It’s possible that the enzyme ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling polymerase PCNA, which is also closely related to histones and has a similar amino acid sequence, could act in concert with Histone H11 during replication. The researchers found this out by reintroducing Histone H11 into cells lacking it – their results showed that reintegrating these protein structures restored RNA polymerase II activity back to normal levels!
The findings are preliminary but they provide some important insights for future research on how genetics work together as we learn more about what makes histones bind so tightly to genetic material.
How do histones bind tightly? They have similarities with other proteins involved in making ATP (the body’s natural energy) and DNA.
Histones are involved in the process of transcription, which is when a gene’s information is copied from its “blueprint form” to an amino acid chain that can be manufactured into protein structures like hemoglobin. The proteins bind tightly to specific sections on the strand called nucleosomes (you might also know them as beads).
Another thing they do? They help stabilize your genetic material by preventing it from moving around too much while you’re alive!
How does this happen?
Some people have theorized that these “scaffolding” roles of histones – and the tightnessHistones have one section with “positive” charge, which attracts other molecules with negative charges that stabilize your genetics. There are some similarities between histone proteins and PCNA: both contain amino acids necessary for making copies of DNA and both are involved in cell division.
Histones also have less than a millimeter’s worth of contact with your genetic material, but that doesn’t stop them from binding to it tightly! They cover about five percent of all the human genome’s surface area – which is incredible when you consider how densely packed our cells’ nuclei actually are.
The reason for this high level of coverage might be because the proteins make up what researchers refer to as “a scaffolding” or an underlying structure for other components found within your genes: things like RNA transcripts and new histone molecules! You can thank them for making sure every one of your chromosomes has enough copies so they don’t get lost during reproduction.
Some people have theorized that these “scaffolding” roles of histones – and the tightness with which they bind to DNA or other molecules in your chromosomes — could be why cells divide.
In order for a cell to split into two new cells, all its genetic material has to be duplicated! These proteins are so tightly bound because their job is literally holding everything together. Without them, genes would end up floating away from each other during replication.
And the tight molecular binding that these proteins perform is so important, in fact, that it’s been shown to cause other parts of your DNA to bind more tightly together. In this way, they regulate how accessible a gene is for transcription and translation (that process by which specific segments of genetic material are decoded into proteins). This doesn’t mean you can change your genes just by changing histones – but it does give us a little more insight as scientists try to understand what makes cells turn on or off certain traits!