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Influence of DNA synthesis inhibition on the coordinate expression of core human histone genes during S phase.

Core histone mRNA metabolism has been examined in S phase HeLa cells recovering from DNA synthesis inhibition by 1 mM hydroxyurea. Using cloned human histone genes as probes for histone mRNA quantitation, the response to and recovery from DNA synthesis inhibition is shown to depend on the position of the cell with respect to the initiation of DNA replication. The incorporation of 3H-uridine into multiple histone mRNAs in recovering cells does not exceed preinhibition levels, and as this incorporation is maximal in early S phase, the synthesis of core histone mRNA is apparently related to the ordered replication of the genome. The total histone mRNA present in interrupted S phase cells after recovery is not significantly different from that present in control cells, and a temporal and functional coupling between histone mRNA levels and the relative rate of DNA synthesis is maintained in perturbed cells.