Assembly of oligonucleosomes into a limit series of multimeric higher-order chromatin structures.

TitleAssembly of oligonucleosomes into a limit series of multimeric higher-order chromatin structures.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsMuyldermans, S., I. Lasters, R. Hamers, and L. Wyns
JournalEur J Biochem
Volume150
Issue3
Pagination441-6
Date Published1985 Aug 1
ISSN0014-2956
KeywordsAnimals, Centrifugation, Density Gradient, Chickens, Chromatin, DNA, Erythrocytes, Hydrolysis, Macromolecular Substances, Micrococcal Nuclease, Nucleosomes, Osmolar Concentration, Peptide Fragments, Protein Conformation
Abstract

Chicken erythrocyte chromatin, obtained after fragmentation with micrococcal nuclease, appears to remain folded in a stable distribution of supranucleosomal structures in buffers containing 80 mM NaCl. These supranucleosomal particles are composed of on average 25 nucleosomes. However, the integrity of the linker DNA within these particles is not required. The supranucleosomal particles have been interpreted by others as superbeads cut out of a preexisting granular nominal 30-nm chromatin fibre. We show that the same distribution of supranucleosomal structures (even those containing internal DNA scissions) can be reconstituted from unfolded nuclear chromatin extracts as present in 10 mM or 600 mM NaCl. Moreover, fractions of oligonucleosomes with mean lengths between 6 and 15 nucleosomes reassemble or aggregate into a limit series of multimeric species. The existence of an assembly barrier could be inferred as we were unable to observe a stable and soluble assembly product containing more than about 25 nucleosomes. We propose an alternative explanation for the generation and observation of a constant distribution of supranucleosomal structures in nuclear extracts, based on the assembly or aggregation property of oligonucleosomes and on the existence of an assembly barrier.

Alternate JournalEur. J. Biochem.
PubMed ID4018092