The Secret Role Histones Played in Complex Cell Evolution

New work shows that the proteins, long treated as boring spools for DNA, are key to the origin story for eukaryotes and still play important roles in disease.

Molecular biology has something in common with kite-flying competitions. At the latter, all eyes are on the colorful, elaborate, wildly kinetic constructions darting through the sky. Nobody looks at the humble reels or spools on which the kite strings are wound, even though the aerial performances depend on how skillfully those reels are handled. In the biology of complex cells, or eukaryotes, the ballet of molecules that transcribe and translate genomic DNA into proteins holds centerstage, but that dance would be impossible

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