Biology of the histones

James Bonner, William Taft Garrard

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


The biological roles of the histones are multiple; by complexing to DNA they cause such DNA to be inactive as a template for RNA polymerase; they cause supercoiling of the DNA which would appear to be a fundamental requirement for further orders of supercoiling, presumable exemplified by metaphase chromosomes; a particular histone even forms interpolypeptide disulfide bridges during metaphase, apparently stabilizing the chromosomes in a highly condensed state. It is no doubt because of this multiplicity of functions that the primary structure of the individual histone species has been conserved to an extraordinary degree since the time of the common ancestor of the higher eukaryotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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