Novel human testis-specific histone H2B encoded by the interrupted gene on the X chromosome

Dmitri Churikov, Joseph Siino, Maria Svetlova, Kangling Zhang, Arunas Gineitis, E. Morton Bradbury, Andrei Zalensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Testis-specific histones are synthesized and accumulated at specific stages of mammalian spermatogenesis. Their proposed functions range from facilitation of the replacement of somatic histones by protamines to epigenetic control of gene transcription. Several testis histone variants were characterized in mouse and rat; however, few are known in humans. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel human histone 2B gene (TH2B-175) located at Xq22.2, which encodes a highly divergent H2B variant. The TH2B-175 gene contains two introns and is transcribed exclusively in testis, where the spliced polyadenylated mRNA was detected. Genomic PCR, Southern blot analysis, and BLAST-based searches indicate that TH2B-175 evolved in the primate lineage or has been lost in rodents. In transfected Chinese hamster cells, GFP-tagged TH2B-175 targeted to large fluorescent bodies that partially colocalize with the interstitial telomeric blocks. Therefore, TH2B-175 may have telomere-associated functions and participate in the telomere-binding complex in the human sperm [1].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-756
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene Expression
  • Gene structure
  • H2B
  • Histone evolution
  • Histones
  • Telomere
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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