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Presence of a highly specific histone H1-like protein in the chromatin of the sperm of the bivalve mollusks

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Chromatin organization in the sperm of the bivalve mollusks results from the interaction between a discrete number of protamine-like proteins (PL) and DNA. A small variable amount of histones is also present. An extensive study carried out on a relatively large number of species, within the class Bivalvia, has shown that it is possible to arrange these mollusks into five major categories on the basis of their PL composition (Ausio, J. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 85, 439–449, (1986) [1]). In the present work, we have extended this analysis to a larger number of species and found that in spite of the inter- and intra-specific similarity of all PL proteins in their chemical composition, they exhibit different degrees of structural variability. Moreover one of these PL proteins is present in all the species analyzed, and bears an enormous resemblance to histones of the H1 family. The evolutionary significance of this finding is discussed.

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Correspondence to Juan Ausio.

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Ausio, J. Presence of a highly specific histone H1-like protein in the chromatin of the sperm of the bivalve mollusks. Mol Cell Biochem 115, 163–172 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00230327

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Key words

  • histone H1
  • protamines
  • sperm-proteins
  • bivalve mollusks