- The H1 linker histones are abundant chromatin-associated DNA-binding proteins. Recent evidence suggests that linker histones also may function through protein-protein interactions. To gain a better understanding of the scope of linker histone involvement in protein-protein interactions, we used a proteomics approach to identify H1-binding proteins in human nuclear extracts. Full-length H1.0 and H1.0 lacking its C-terminal domain (CTD) were used for protein pull-downs. A total of 107 candidate H1.0 binding proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS. About one-third of the H1.0-dependent interactions were mediated by the CTD, and two-thirds by the N-terminal domain-globular domain fragment. Many of the proteins pulled down by H1.0 were core splicing factors. Another group of H1-binding proteins functions in rRNA biogenesis. H1.0 also pulled down numerous ribosomal proteins and proteins involved in cellular transport. Strikingly, nearly all of the H1.0-binding proteins are found in the nucleolus. Quantitative biophysical studies with recombinant proteins confirmed that H1.0 directly binds to FACT and the splicing factors SF2/ASF and U2AF65. Our results demonstrate that H1.0 interacts with an extensive network of proteins that function in RNA metabolism in the nucleolus, and suggest that a new paradigm for linker histone action is in order.