Human sperm telomere-binding complex involves histone H2B and secures telomere membrane attachment

Arunas A. Gineitis, Irina A. Zalenskaya, Peter M. Yau, E. Morton Bradbury, Andrei O. Zalensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Telomeres are unique chromatin domains located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere functions in somatic cells involve complexes between telomere proteins and TTAGGG DNA repeats. During the differentiation of germ-line cells, telomeres undergo significant reorganization most likely required for additional specific functions in meiosis and fertilization. A telomere-binding protein complex from human sperm (hSTBP) has been isolated by detergent treatment and was partially purified. hSTBP specifically binds double-stranded telomeric DNA and does not contain known somatic telomere proteins TRF1, TRF2, and Ku. Surprisingly, the essential component of this complex has been identified as a specific variant of histone H2B. Indirect immunofluorescence shows punctate localization of H2B in sperm nuclei, which in part coincides with telomeric DNA localization established by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Anti-H2B antibodies block interactions of hSTBP with telomere DNA, and spH2B forms specific complex with this DNA in vitro, indicating that this protein plays a role in telomere DNA recognition. We propose that hSTBP participates in the membrane attachment of telomeres that may be important for ordered chromosome withdrawal after fertilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1597
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 31 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Histone H2B
  • Nuclear membrane
  • Sperm
  • Telomere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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