Structure and expression of the human oocyte-specific histone H1 gene elucidated by direct RT-nested PCR of a single oocyte

Yudai Tanaka, Shingo Kato, Mamoru Tanaka, Naoaki Kuji, Yasunori Yoshimura

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Oocyte-specific histone H1 is expressed during oogenesis and early embryogenesis. It has been described in mice and some nonmammalian species, but not in humans. Here, we identified the cDNA in unfertilized human oocytes using direct RT-nested PCR of a single cell. Sequencing of this cDNA indicated an open reading frame encoding a 347-amino acid protein. Expression was oocyte-specific. Homology was closest with the corresponding gene of mouse (H1oo; 42.3%), and, to lesser extent, with that of Xenopus laevis (B4; 25.0%). The gene, named osH1, included five exons as predicted by the NCBI annotation project of the human genome, although the actual splicing site at the 3′ end of exon 3 was different by 48 nucleotides from the prediction. The presence of polyadenylation signals and successful amplification of cDNA by RT-PCR using an oligo(dT) primer suggested that the osH1 mRNA is polyadenylated unlike somatic H1 mRNA. Our technique and findings should facilitate investigation of human fertilization and embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 2



  • Human
  • Oocyte
  • Oocyte-specific histone H1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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