Genome-wide analysis of histone H3.1 and H3.3 variants in Arabidopsis thaliana

Hume Stroud, Sofía Otero, Bénédicte Desvoyes, Elena Ramírez-Parra, Steven E. Jacobsen, Crisanto Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Nucleosomes package eukaryotic DNA and are composed of four different histone proteins, designated H3, H4, H2A, and H2B. Histone H3 has two main variants, H3.1 and H3.3, which show different genomic localization patterns in animals.Weprofiled H3.1 and H3.3 variants in the genome of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and found that the localization of these variants shows broad similarity in plants and animals, along with some unique features. H3.1 was enriched in silent areas of the genome, including regions containing the repressive chromatin modifications H3 lysine 27 methylation, H3 lysine 9 methylation, and DNA methylation. In contrast, H3.3 was enriched in actively transcribed genes, especially peaking at the 3′ end of genes, and correlated with histone modifications associated with gene activation, such as histone H3 lysine 4 methylation and H2B ubiquitylation, as well as RNA Pol II occupancy. Surprisingly, both H3.1 and H3.3 were enriched on defined origins of replication, as was overall nucleosome density, suggesting a novel characteristic of plant origins. Our results are broadly consistent with the hypothesis that H3.1 acts as the canonical histone that is incorporated during DNA replication, whereas H3.3 acts as the replacement histone that can be incorporated outside of S-phase during chromatin-disrupting processes like transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5370-5375
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 3 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome-wide analysis of histone H3.1 and H3.3 variants in Arabidopsis thaliana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this