Research paper: Chaperone Proteins may influence the transmission of non-genetic information across generations

Traditionally chaperones have acted to ensure that social boundaries are not broken. The term is also used at a molecular level in reference to chaperone proteins that regulate the interactions of their cargo.

A recent paper in Molecular Cell, co-authored by Tom Owen-Hughes, shows how a certain class of proteins is capable of interacting with four histones simultaneously. The paper, “The histone chaperones Nap1 and Vps75 bind histones H3 and H4 in a tetrameric conformation.” (Molecular Cell, Volume 41, Issue 1, 46-55, 7 January 2011) outlines Andrew Bowman’s recent discovery that the chaperones that escort the histone protein subunits that coat our genomes – so-called chaperone proteins, have the potential to influence how non-genetic information is transmitted from one generation to the next. Dr. Bowman is a recently graduated PhD student at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression.

Authors: Andrew Bowman, Richard Ward, Nicola Wiechens, Vijender Singh, Hassane El-Mkami, David George Norman, and Tom Owen-Hughes