Linker histone variant H1T targets rDNA repeats

Ruiko Tani, Koji Hayakawa*, Satoshi Tanaka, Kunio Shiota

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: H1T is a linker histone H1 variant that is highly expressed at the primary spermatocyte stage through to the early spermatid stage of spermatogenesis. While the functions of the somatic types of H1 have been extensively investigated, the intracellular role of H1T is unclear. H1 variants specifically expressed in germ cells show low amino acid sequence homology to somatic H1s, which suggests that the functions or target loci of germ cell-specific H1T differ from those of somatic H1s. Here, we describe the target loci and function of H1T. H1T was expressed not only in the testis but also in tumor cell lines, mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), and some normal somatic cells. To elucidate the intracellular localization and target loci of H1T, fluorescent immunostaining and ChIP-seq were performed in tumor cells and mESCs. We found that H1T accumulated in nucleoli and predominantly targeted rDNA repeats, which differ from somatic H1 targets. Furthermore, by nuclease sensitivity assay and RT-qPCR, we showed that H1T repressed rDNA transcription by condensing chromatin structure. Imaging analysis indicated that H1T expression affected nucleolar formation. We concluded that H1T plays a role in rDNA transcription, by distinctively targeting rDNA repeats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-302
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Germ-specific
  • H1 variant
  • linker histone
  • nucleolus
  • rDNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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