Seasonal environmental changes regulate the expression of the histone variant macroH2A in an eurythermal fish

Rodrigo Pinto, Corinne Ivaldi, Mauricio Reyes, Cécile Doyen, Flore Mietton, Fabien Mongelard, Marco Alvarez, Alfredo Molina, Stefan Dimitrov, Manuel Krauskopf, Maria Ines Vera, Philippe Bouvet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Adaptation to cold and warm conditions requires dramatic change in gene expression. The acclimatization process of the common carp Cyprinus carpio L. in its natural habitat has been used to study how organisms respond to natural environmental changes. At the cellular level, adaptation to cold condition is accompanied by a dramatic alteration in nucleolar structure and a down regulation of the expression of ribosomal genes. We show that the enrichment of condensed chromatin in winter adapted cells is not correlated with an increase of the heterochromatin marker trimethyl and monomethyl K20H4. However, the expression of the tri methyl K4 H3 and of the variant histone macroH2A is significantly increased during the winter season together with a hypermethylation of CpG residues. Taking into account the properties of macroH2A toward chromatin structure and dynamics and its role in gene repression our data suggest that the increased expression of macroH2A and the hypermethylation of DNA which occurs upon winter-acclimatization plays a major role for the reorganization of chromatin structure and the regulation of gene expression during the physiological adaptation to a colder environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5553-5558
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2005


  • Acclimatization
  • Chromatin
  • Histone variant
  • MacroH2A
  • Nucleolus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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