PROSITE documentation PDOC00287
Histone H3 signatures


Histone H3 is one of the four histones, along with H2A, H2B and H4, which forms the eukaryotic nucleosome core. It is a highly conserved protein of 135 amino acid residues [1,2,E1].

The following proteins have been found to contain a C-terminal H3-like domain:

  • Mammalian centromeric protein CENP-A [3]. Could act as a core histone necessary for the assembly of centromeres.
  • Yeast chromatin-associated protein CSE4 [4].
  • Caenorhabditis elegans chromosome III encodes two highly related proteins (F54C8.2 and F58A4.3) whose C-terminal section is evolutionary related to the last 100 residues of H3. The function of these proteins is not yet known.

We developed two signature patterns, The first one corresponds to a perfectly conserved heptapeptide in the N-terminal part of H3. The second one is derived from a conserved region in the central section of H3.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

HISTONE_H3_1, PS00322; Histone H3 signature 1  (PATTERN)

HISTONE_H3_2, PS00959; Histone H3 signature 2  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsWells D.E. Brown D.
TitleHistone and histone gene compilation and alignment update.
SourceNucleic Acids Res. 19:2173-2188(1991).
PubMed ID2041803

2AuthorsThatcher T.H. Gorovsky M.A.
TitlePhylogenetic analysis of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4.
SourceNucleic Acids Res. 22:174-179(1994).
PubMed ID8121801

3AuthorsSullivan K.F. Hechenberger M. Masri K.
TitleHuman CENP-A contains a histone H3 related histone fold domain that is required for targeting to the centromere.
SourceJ. Cell Biol. 127:581-592(1994).
PubMed ID7962047

4AuthorsStoler S. Keith K.C. Curnick K.E. Fitzgerald-Hayes M.
TitleA mutation in CSE4, an essential gene encoding a novel chromatin-associated protein in yeast, causes chromosome nondisjunction and cell cycle arrest at mitosis.
SourceGenes Dev. 9:573-586(1995).
PubMed ID7698647


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