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Nickel binding to histone H4

Zoroddu, Maria Antonietta and Peana, Massimiliano Francesco and Medici, Serenella and Casella, Luigi and Monzani, Enrico and Costa, Max (2010) Nickel binding to histone H4. Dalton Transactions, Vol. 39 (3), p. 787-793. ISSN 1477-9226. Article.

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DOI: 10.1039/B916019C


Nickel compounds influence carcinogenesis by interfering with a variety of cellular targets. It has been found that nickel is a potent inhibitor in vivo of histone H4 acetylation, in both yeast and mammalian cells. It has preference to specific lysine residues in the H4 N-terminal –S1GRGK5GGK8GLGK12GGAK16RH18RKVL22 tail, in which the sites of acetylation are clustered. About the nature of the structural changes induced by histone acetylation on H4, it has been recently demonstrated that acetylation induces an increase in α-helical conformation of the acetylated N-terminal tail of H4. It causes a shortening of the tail and, such an effect, may have an important structural and functional implication as a mechanism of transcriptional regulation. Here we report a study on the conformational changes induced by carcinogenic nickel compounds on the histone H4 protein. From a circular dichroism study we found that nickel is able to induce a secondary structure in the protein. In particular, nickel has the same effect as acetylation: it induces an increase in α-helical conformation of the non-acetylated histone H4. The α-helical increase that occurs upon nickel interaction with histone H4 should decrease the ability of histone acetyl transferase to recognize and bind to the histone tail and thus affect the ability of the enzyme to further modify the lysine residues. The shortening of the distance between adjacent amino acids, caused by the translation from an extended to a helical conformation, could disrupt the histone recognition motif; this may eventually compromise the entire “ histone code”.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:5143
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nickel, histone H4, protein
Subjects:Area 03 - Scienze chimiche > CHIM/03 Chimica generale e inorganica
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Chimica
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
Deposited On:02 Dec 2010 11:29

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