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H2A histone family, member Z
Protein H2AFZ PDB 1f66.png
PDB rendering based on 1f66.
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: PDBe, RCSB
Symbols H2AFZ ; H2A.Z-1; H2A.z; H2A/z; H2AZ
External IDs OMIM142763 MGI1888388 HomoloGene80218 GeneCards: H2AFZ Gene
RNA expression pattern
PBB GE H2AFZ 200853 at tn.png
PBB GE H2AFZ 213911 s at tn.png
PBB GE H2AFZ gnf1h07385 s at tn.png
More reference expression data
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 3015 51788
Ensembl ENSG00000164032 ENSMUSG00000037894
UniProt P0C0S5 P0C0S6
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_002106 NM_016750
RefSeq (protein) NP_002097 NP_058030
Location (UCSC) Chr 4:
100.87 – 100.87 Mb
Chr 3:
137.86 – 137.87 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]

Histone H2A.Z is a protein that in humans is encoded by the H2AFZ gene.[1][2]

Histones are basic nuclear proteins that are responsible for the nucleosome structure of the chromosomal fiber in eukaryotes. Nucleosomes consist of approximately 146 bp of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer composed of pairs of each of the four core histones (H2A, H2B, H3, and H4). The chromatin fiber is further compacted through the interaction of a linker histone, H1, with the DNA between the nucleosomes to form higher order chromatin structures. This gene encodes a replication-independent member of the histone H2A family that is distinct from other members of the family. Studies in mice have shown that this particular histone is required for embryonic development and indicate that lack of functional histone H2A leads to embryonic lethality.[2] Histone H2AZ is a variant of histone H2A, and is used to mediate the thermosensory response, and is essential to perceive the ambient temperature. Nucleosome occupancy of H2A.Z decreases with temperature, and in vitro assays show that H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes wrap DNA more tightly than canonical H2A nucleosomes in Arabidopsis.(Cell 140: 136–147, 2010) However, in some of the other studies (Nat. Genet. 41, 941–945 and Genes Dev., 21, 1519–1529) have shown that incorporation of H2A.Z in nucleosomes, makes them weaker. Positioning of H2A.Z containing nucleosomes around transcription start sites has now been shown to affect the downstream gene expression.[3]


H2AFZ has been shown to interact with INCENP.[4]


  1. ^ Hatch CL, Bonner WM (Oct 1990). "The human histone H2A.Z gene. Sequence and regulation". J Biol Chem 265 (25): 15211–8. PMID 1697587. 
  2. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: H2AFZ H2A histone family, member Z". 
  3. ^ Bargaje R., Alam P., Patowary A., Sarkar M., Ali T., Gupta S., Garg M., Singh M., Purkanti R., Scaria V., Sivasubbu S., Brahmachari V., Pillai B. (2012) Proximity of H2A.Z containing nucleosome to the transcription start site influences gene expression levels in the mammalian liver and brain. Nucleic Acids Research (Epub ahead of print)Bargaje R, Alam MP, Patowary A et al. (October 2012). "Proximity of H2A.Z containing nucleosome to the transcription start site influences gene expression levels in the mammalian liver and brain" 40 (18). pp. 8965–78. doi:10.1093/nar/gks665. PMC 3467062. PMID 22821566. 
  4. ^ Rangasamy, Danny; Berven Leise; Ridgway Patricia; Tremethick David John (Apr 2003). "Pericentric heterochromatin becomes enriched with H2A.Z during early mammalian development". EMBO J. (England) 22 (7): 1599–607. doi:10.1093/emboj/cdg160. ISSN 0261-4189. PMC 152904. PMID 12660166. 

Further reading[edit]