Histones...What are those?

Histone Close-Up

Histones are one of the specific proteins involved in cell division and cancer. Technically, the ball-like groups of histones are referred to as nucleosomes, but--for simplicity--the website will continue to refer to these groups as histones. In more general terms, histones are the protein “balls” that DNA wraps around in order to help DNA coil itself and condense into a chromosome during interphase. In fact, the image of nucleosomes (groups of histones) strung along a strand of DNA is often referred to as the "Beads on a String" model.

In the image to the left, you can see the histones, drawn as gray spheres that attach to the DNA and each other as the DNA condenses into a chromosome that can be easily divided and transported during cell division.

We, however, are interested in just the histones, as pictured here:

Histones Wrapped in DNA

The video below provides a good representation of what histones look like in the cell. The clip denotes the histones as groups of orange spheres wrapped in blue globular DNA. Courtesy of jccairs.

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