Over the years mutants like E.T., the Hulk, Yoda, and the X-Men to name a few, have all left a lasting impression in our lives. That’s why when a group of John’s Hopkins researchers, led by Jef Boeke, produced a library of synthetic histone H3 and H4 mutants to probe the function of each residue systematically, we couldn’t help but get excited.
The library is now available, and researchers in the chromatin field will want to check it out. Jef Boeke and co-workers at Johns Hopkins University systematically substituted or deleted every amino acid residue in Saccharomyces cerevisiae histones H3 and H4 to generate a library of 486 mutants. Each mutant contains two unique 20-bp TAG sequences, or barcodes, that enable identification by TAG microarray hybridization in high-throughput phenotypic analyses.
The researchers analyzed the effects of the mutations on several factors such as S. cerevisiae survival, competitive fitness, DNA repair, and transcriptional silencing. The mutant histone H3 and H4 library revealed new functions and interactions of distinct histone residues. Check out all the details in Cell, October 2008