AAT Bioquest

What are the major functions of histones in the cell?

Posted January 23, 2023


The major functions of histones in the cell include: DNA packaging, regulating gene regulation, and providing structural support to chromosomes. In order to ensure the DNA fits into the nucleus of a cell, it is vital for it to be packaged properly into the chromatin through the help of histones. DNA wraps around complexes of histone proteins which helps give the chromosome a more compact shape. With structural support, chromosomes can keep their X-shaped structure. The histones associated with DNA prevent them from being damaged and intertwined. Histone gene expression is cell-cycle-regulated and coupled to DNA replication. Histone gene expression is controlled at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional level. This is so the balance between histone abundance and DNA replication is kept for the proper packaging of newly replicated DNA into chromosomes. Histones can go through chemical modifications and remodel chromatin; these modifications can result in gene regulation of several genes.

Additional resources

Histone structure and nucleosome stability

DNA and RNA Quantitation

6-ROX glycine *25 uM fluorescence reference solution for PCR reactions*

Helixyte™ Green *10,000X Aqueous PCR Solution*