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Tetrahymena H4 genes: structure, evolution and organization in macro- and micronuclei.

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  • Biology


The ciliated protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila contains two types of H4 histone genes (H4-I and H4-II). Southern blotting and analysis of DNA from nullisomic strains indicate that H4-I and H4-II are on different chromosomes and that only H4-II is closely linked to an H3 gene. No DNA sequence rearrangements are observed for either of the H4 genes when the transcriptionally inert, germ line, micronucleus is compared to the transcriptionally active, somatic macronucleus. Comparison of the H4-I gene and its flanking sequences to H4 gene sequences of other organisms indicates that there are evolutionary constraints on coding nucleotides that are unrelated to their protein coding function and that these evolutionary pressures operate at the level of translation.

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