Histone fraction F2A1 has been isolated and purified from macronuclei of the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis. It migrates as a single species on sodium dodecyl sulphate-acrylamide gel electrophoresis, with a molecular weight indistinguishable from that of calf thymus F2A1. The solubility properties of Tetrahymena F2A1 are also similar to those of calf thymus F2A1. Electrophoretic analyses on urea-acrylamide gels indicate that Tetrahymena F2A1 consists of four or five subspecies, the two fastest having electrophoretic mobilities identical with those of the two major electrophoretically separable forms of calf thymus F2A1. High resolution (long gel) electrophoresis coupled with incorporation of radioactive acetate both in vivo and in vitro suggest that, as in the case of calf thymus F2A1, differentical acetylation of a parent molecule can explain the observed electrophoretic heterogeneity of Tetrahymena F2A1. Electrophoretic analysis of histones isolated from the micronucleus, which is genetically less active than the macronucleus, indicates that it contains largely the relatively unacetylated (parent) form of histone F2A1.

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