HMGB proteins are characterized for containing one or more HMG-box domains and are well conserved from yeasts to higher eukaryotes. The HMG-box domain is formed by three α-helices with an L-shaped fold. Although HMGB proteins also have cytoplasmic and extracellular functions, they bind to nuclear or mitochondrial DNA in a highly dynamic process that affects chromatin organization. In this review, we mainly focus on HMGB proteins from yeast and their human homologs as functionally involved in DNA repair and transcriptional regulation. Recent research reveals that these proteins participate in epigenetic control of gene expression, aging, disease, or stem-cell biology.
Part of the book: Old Yeasts