Variant histone H2A which replaces conventional H2A in a subset of nucleosomes. Nucleosomes wrap and compact DNA into chromatin, limiting DNA accessibility to the cellular machineries which require DNA as a template. Histones thereby play a central role in transcription regulation, DNA repair, DNA replication and chromosomal stability. DNA accessibility is regulated via a complex set of post-translational modifications of histones, also called histone code, and nucleosome remodeling. Required for checkpoint-mediated arrest of cell cycle progression in response to low doses of ionizing radiation and for efficient repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) specifically when modified by C-terminal phosphorylation.
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