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Structure of eukaryotic chromosomes and chromatin part 3 organization of transcribed regions of chromatin



Structure of eukaryotic chromosomes and chromatin part 3 organization of transcribed regions of chromatin



Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 283(997): 343-358



The endonuclease DNase II preferentially attacks a limited and tissue-specific portion of rat liver chromosomal DNA. This material may be separated from the bulk of chromatin DNA by virtue of its solubility in 2 mM MgCl2. The Mg2+ soluble fraction forms a specific subset of DNA sequences and is enriched 4- to 7-fold in sequences coding for cytoplasmic poly(A)-containing RNA and globin mRNA (in globin-producing cells). The bulk (70-90%) of rapidly labeled RNA is found associated with the Mg2+-soluble fraction. Transcriptionally active, Mg2+-soluble chromatin is organized into repeating subunits of DNA (200 .+-. 5 base pairs) and histone. Mg2+-soluble active subunits differ from the subunits or nucleosomes of non-transcribed regions in many respects: i.e., chemical composition (non-histone protein and RNA), sedimentation properties, differential sensitivity to DNase I and the single-strand-specific nuclease S1 and optical melting behavior. Chromatin subunits apparently adopt a new configuration during the process of transcription.

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