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By Karl Maramorosch

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B. Structural Specificity of Aliphatic Monocarboxylates Mediating HCG Induction for 1. Effect of Chain Length The effect of the number of carbon atoms in straight chain monocarboxylates on induction of HCG synthesis is seen in Fig. 3. Stringent structural specificity is indicated by the effectiveness of the C4 butyrate which induces approximately a 500-fold increase in synthesis. C3 proprionate, C5 valerate, and C6 hexanoate also increased HCG synthesis but were much less effective t h a n butyrate.

Current concepts on the structure of chromatin provide a background for interpreting gene activation and perhaps understanding butyrate effects. Histones are highly conserved, basic chromosomal proteins (for review, see Elgin and Weintraub, 1975). Differences in the amino acid sequences of each of the five histone fractions, designated H l , H2A, H2B, H3, and H4, within eukaryotic systems are minimal. Histones are positively charged species, enriched in arginine and lysine residues, and lacking tryptophan, which are coded for by repetitive gene sequences (Kedes and Bernstiel, 1971).

B. , 1973). In addition, histone H I is phosphorylated REGULATION OF GLYCOPEPTIDE HORMONE SYNTHESIS 43 in a cyclical fashion, increasing as cells progress from G, phase through S and into G2, apparently in concert with DNA replication. Since phosphate turnover occurs at relatively low rates and the predominant histone species so modified (HI) is not found within the nucleosomal core, it appears doubtful t h a t phosphorylation functions permissively in transcription. , 1980). Introduction of acetate groups in each of the nuclear histone fractions is characterized by a rapid turnover rate and has been temporally and spatially associated with the initiation of RNA synthesis (Allfrey, 1977; Hnilica, 1972).

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