The plant-specific histone residue Phe41 is important for genome-wide H3.1 distribution

Li Lu, Xiangsong Chen, Shuiming Qian, Xuehua Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The dynamic incorporation of histone variants influences chromatin structure and many biological processes. In Arabidopsis, the canonical variant H3.1 differs from H3.3 in four residues, one of which (H3.1Phe41) is unique and conserved in plants. However, its evolutionary significance remains unclear. Here, we show that Phe41 first appeared in H3.1 in ferns and became stable during land plant evolution. Unlike H3.1, which is specifically enriched in silent regions, H3.1F41Y variants gain ectopic accumulation at actively transcribed regions. Reciprocal tail and core domain swap experiments between H3.1 and H3.3 show that the H3.1 core, while necessary, is insufficient to restrict H3.1 to silent regions. We conclude that the vascular-plant-specific Phe41 is critical for H3.1 genomic distribution and may act collaboratively with the H3.1 core to regulate deposition patterns. This study reveals that Phe41 may have evolved to provide additional regulation of histone deposition in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number630
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'The plant-specific histone residue Phe41 is important for genome-wide H3.1 distribution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this