Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Histones

Class of heavy proteins associated with DNA that modulate chromosome microarchitecture and events such as DNA coiling and uncoiling during nucleosome formation and other cellular processes. Histones seem to coat inactive DNA. Common stains such as Giemsa stain bind to such proteins, not to DNA, and it is the histone-bound stains that are seen on examination of chromosome structure.

Cf. nonhistone protein.

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