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Histones are essential for the folding of DNA into nucleosomes and chromatin formation in eukaryotes. A nucleosome consists of approximately 146 base pairs of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer comprising of pairs of the core histones (H2A, H2B, H3 and H4). The nucleosomes are further compacted through interaction with the linker histone H1.
Histones consist of a globular domain and a more flexible amino terminus (histone “tail”). The histone tail protrudes from the nucleosomal surface and can be modified by covalent modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, poly(ADP-ribosylation) and biotinylation. These post translational modifications affect the structure of chromatin and are involved in DNA repair, mitotic and meiotic chromosome condensation and gene regulation.
As the chromatin field expanded, Abcam has produced a plethora of histone and histone related antibodies. These include antibodies that specifically recognize the core histones and their variants modified by lysine acetylation, biotinylation, mono-, di- or tri-methylation; arginine mono- or di-methylation; serine or threonine phosphorylation and arginine substitution with citrulline. Our wide range of histone antibodies also includes targets such as variants and modifying enzymes.
All of the Abcam chromatin antibodies have been tested by ELISA and western blot analysis using peptide blocking studies. In addition, many of the antibodies have been tested in multiple species and in chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and have been assigned a “ChIP grade” status.
Abcam has a broad range of human antibodies that recognize histone modifications and histone modifying enzymes. These include histone acetylases, deacetylases, methylases, methyltransferases, demethylases, ribosylases, kinases, phosphatases and deatminases.
In recent years, the importance of the histone variants in chromatin remodeling and epigenetic change has become apparent. Histone variants are deposited by distinct multi-protein complexes at active genes, centromeres and silent loci. Abcam sells antibodies specific for histone H1 (H1.4) and the core histones H2A, H2B, H3.1 and H4 in addition to their corresponding variants H1.0, H1.1, H1.2, H1.3, H1.5, H1.X, H2A.X, H2A.Z, H2A.BbD, macroH2A.2, CENP-A and H3.3.
Yeast is arguably the species of choice in chromatin research given the ease of propagation and the histone sequence similarities between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe with their human homologs. Recent genome-wide studies of histone modifications in yeast are possible due to the small size of the predicted genome (~6000 ORFs) and have revealed uniform patterns of histone acetylation and methylation using ChIP-on-chip technology.
Abcam has many chromatin related antibodies that work in yeast, including antibodies against the histone H2A variant Htz1. In addition, the histone H3 (tri methyl K36), histone H3 (tri methyl K79) and histone H2A (phospho S129) antibodies all react with yeast histone sequences as predicted by sequence homology with the human histone proteins.
The heterochromatin in plants is more complex than in yeast, which is one of the reasons why plants are emerging as model organisms to study epigenetic regulation and chromatin structure. Abcam currently has over 20 chromatin related antibodies that work in Arabidopsis thaliana lysates including Histone H3 antibody, pan methyl Lysine antibody, Histone H3 (di+tri methyl K4) antibody and Histone H3 (phospho S10) antibody as well as a further 12 which are predicted to work due to sequence homology.
Since the discovery of the Polycomb family of proteins in Drosophila, many protein orthologues have been discovered that function to maintain the higher order structure of DNA. This has made Drosophila an attractive model organism to investigate chromatin structure and function. Abcam currently has over 50 chromatin related antibodies that work in Drosophila lysates. Histone H3 (di methyl K27) antibody, Histone H2B (di methyl K43) antibody and Histone H3 (acetyl K9) antibody [AH3-120] are all predicted to react with the Drosophila melanogaster histones based on sequence homology with the human histone sequences.
Example histone antibody ChIP data
Histone antibodies are regularly used in ChIP in large quantities and it is increasingly important to ensure that there is no discernible batch-to-batch variability. As you can see in the image above, we test every new batch of our Histone H3 (mono methyl K4) ab8895 antibody in ChIP for quality and reliability.