Cell cycle controlled histone H1, H3, and H4 genes share unusual arrangements of recognition motifs for HiNF-D supporting a coordinate promoter binding mechanism

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Cell cycle and growth control of the DNA binding and transactivation functions of regulatory factors provides a direct mechanism by which cells may coordinate transcription of a multitude of genes in proliferating cells. The promoters of human DNA replication dependent histone H4, H3, and H1 genes interact with at least seven distinct proteins. One of these proteins is a proliferation-specific nuclear factor, HiNF-D, that interacts with a key cis-regulatory element (H4-Site II; 41 bp) present in H4 genes. Here we describe binding sites for HiNF-D in the promoters of H3 and H1 genes using cross-competition, deletion analysis, and methylation interference assays, and we show that HiNF-D recognizes intricate arrangements of at least two sequence elements (CA- and AG-motifs). These recognition motifs are irregularly dispersed and distantly positioned in the proximal promoters (200 bp) of both the H3 and H1 genes. In all cases, these motifs either overlap or are in close proximity to other established transcriptional elements, including ATF and CCAAT sequences. Although HiNF-D can interact with low affinity to a core recognition domain, auxiliary elements in both the distal and proximal portions of each promoter cooperatively enhance HiNF-D binding. Thus, HiNF-D appears to bridge remote regulatory regions, which may juxtapose additional trans-activating proteins interacting within histone gene promoters. Consistent with observations in many cell culture systems, the interactions of HiNF-D with the H4, H3, and H1 promoters are modulated in parallel during the cessation of proliferation in both osteosarcoma cells and normal diploid osteoblasts, and these events occur in conjunction with concerted changes in histone gene expression. Thus, HiNF-D represents a candidate participant in coordinating transcriptional control of several histone gene classes.

DOI of Published Version



J Cell Physiol. 1994 Jun;159(3):515-30. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cellular physiology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID