Definition of Histone Variants

Histone variants are the histone proteins in which there is a slight change in the sequence of the amino acids as present in the standard histones. They impart particular structural and functional features to the nucleosomes of eukaryotes. These proteins substitute for the core histones i.e. H3, H4, H2A, H2B in nucleosomes. The histone variants do not depend upon the process of replication and are expressed during all the phases of the cell cycle.


These histone variants show a high extent of variations among the species and they are present in the form of a single copy. The tail of the mRNA of the histone variants is polyadenylated and the gene has introns present in it. The organisms which show complexity are known to have diverse histone variants which provide them with a variety of functions.


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