H1 histones from rat liver and rat testis were separated by reverse-phase h.p.l.c. Within 40 min six subfractions (H1(0), H1b, H1a, H1d, H1e + H1c and H1c) and seven subfractions (H1(0), H1b, H1a, H1d, H1e + H1c, H1c and H1t) respectively were isolated by using a linear acetonitrile gradient. Each individual H1 subtype was identified either by comparing the H1 variants (contained in both tissues but in different quantities) or by SDS/PAGE and acetic acid/urea/PAGE. Moreover, all H1 variants were characterized by amino acid analyses. The amino acid compositions of rat histone subfractions H1(0), H1b and H1e were determined for the first time. It was possible to classify unambiguously the H1 subfractions obtained by h.p.l.c. by following the standardized H1 nomenclature for electrophoretic systems recommended by Lennox, Oshima & Cohen [(1982) J. Biol. Chem. 257, 5183-5189]. Incorrect assignments that have been made in various publications are discussed.

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