© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. H1 linker histones are involved both in the maintenance of chromatin higher-order structure and in gene regulation. H1 binds to linker DNA regions on the surface of the nucleosome. In higher eukaryotes, H1 contains three distinct domains: a short N-terminal domain (NTD), a central globular domain, and a long C-terminal domain (CTD). Terminal domains determine subtype specificity and to a large extent the linker DNA binding and chromatin condensing properties of histone H1. This review is focused on the recent numerous studies that have provided insights in the role of H1 terminal domains in chromatin dynamics. The N- and C-terminal domains behave as intrinsically disordered proteins with coupled binding and folding. We examine the potential kinetic advantages of intrinsic disorder in the recognition of the specific H1 binding sites in chromatin. As typical intrinsically disordered regions, H1 terminal domains are post-translationally modified. Post-translational modifications in the NTD determine the interaction of histone H1 with other proteins involved in heterochromatin formation and transcriptional regulation, while phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinases modulates the secondary structure of the CTD and chromatin condensation. We review the arguments in favor of the involvement of H1 hyperphosphorylation in metaphase chromatin condensation and of partial phosphorylation in interphase chromatin relaxation. In addition, the interplay of histone H1 and other chromatin architectural proteins, such as proteins of the high-mobility group, protamines, and MeCP2, is associated with changes in chromatin structure.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2017|
- Chromatin condensation
- Chromatin dynamics
- Histone H1
- Intrinsic disorder
- Post-translational modifications
- Secondary structure