Alleviation of historic H1-mediated transcriptional repression and chromatin compaction by the acidic activation region in chromosomal protein HMG-14

Han Fei Ding, Michael Bustin, Ulla Hansen

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Histone H1 promotes the generation of a condensed, transcriptionally inactive, higher-order chromatin structure. Consequently, historic H1 activity must be antagonized in order to convert chromatin to a transcriptionally competent, more extended structure. Using simian virus 40 minichromosomes as a model system, we now demonstrate that the nonhistoric chromosomal protein HMG-14, which is known to preferentially associate with active chromatin, completely alleviates historic H1-mediated inhibition of transcription by RNA polymerase II. HMG-14 also partially disrupts histone H1-dependent compaction of chromatin. Both the transcriptional enhancement and chromatin-unfolding activities of HMG-14 are mediated through its acidic, C-terminal region. Strikingly, transcriptional and structural activities of HMG-14 are maintained upon replacement of the C-terminal fragment by acidic regions from either GAL4 or HMG-2. These data support the model that the acidic C terminus of HMG-14 is involved in unfolding higher-order chromatin structure to facilitate transcriptional activation of mammalian genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5843-5855
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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