Core component of nucleosome. 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. Has broad antibacterial activity. May contribute to the formation of the functional antimicrobial barrier of the colonic epithelium, and to the bactericidal activity of amniotic fluid.
Belongs to the histone H2B family.
Monoubiquitination of Lys-121 by the RNF20/40 complex gives a specific tag for epigenetic transcriptional activation and is also prerequisite for histone H3 'Lys-4' and 'Lys-79' methylation. It also functions cooperatively with the FACT dimer to stimulate elongation by RNA polymerase II. Phosphorylated on Ser-15 by STK4/MST1 during apoptosis; which facilitates apoptotic chromatin condensation. Also phosphorylated on Ser-15 in response to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), and in correlation with somatic hypermutation and immunoglobulin class-switch recombination.