The histone H4 gene of Plasmodium falciparum is developmentally transcribed in asexual parasites
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Histones are abundant nuclear core proteins that are present in all eukararyotes and are responsible for linking chromosomes and packaging them into tight chromatin aggregates. The histone H2A, H2B, and H3 genes and a partial sequence of the histone H4 gene from Plasmodium falciparum have been previously identified and share a high level of nucleotide sequence identity. In this study, we compare the histone H4 sequence of the human malaria P. falciparum with the sequences of two mouse malarias, Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii, revealing at least 91% identity at the nucleotide level and 100% conservation at the amino acid level. Furthermore, we show the P. falciparum histone H4 is developmentally transcribed in late stage asexual parasites, completing the transcription profile for the genes comprising the histone octamer of P. falciparum and adding support to suggestions that a novel histone mRNA control mechanism exists in this parasite.