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The histone fold motif has previously been identified as a structural feature common to all four core histones and is involved in both histone-histone and histone-DNA interactions. Through the use of a novel motif searching method, a group of proteins containing the histone fold motif has been established. The proteins in this group are involved in a wide variety of functions related mostly to DNA metabolism. Most of these proteins engage in protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions, as do their core histone counterparts. Among these, CCAAT-specific transcription factor CBF and its yeast homologue HAP are two examples of multimeric complexes with different component subunits that contain the histone fold motif. The histone fold proteins are distantly related, with a relatively small degree of absolute sequence similarity. It is proposed that these proteins may share a similar three-dimensional conformation despite the lack of significant sequence similarity.