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The organization of histones and dna in chromatin evidence for an arginine rich kernel


Cell 8(3): 333-347
The organization of histones and dna in chromatin evidence for an arginine rich kernel
The roles of various histones in the organization of the DNA of the nucleosome were examined, using staphylococcal nuclease as a probe of DNA conformation from duck erythrocyte nuclei. When this enzyme attacks chromatin, a series of fragments evenly spaced at 10 base pair intervals is generated, reflecting the histone-DNA interactions within the nucleosome structure. To determine what contribution the various histones make to DNA organization, the staphylococcal nuclease digestion patterns of DNA-purified histone complexes were studied. Virtually all possible combinations of homogeneous histones were reconstituted onto DNA. Exhaustive digestion of a complex containing the 4 histones H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 yields a DNA fragment pattern very similar to that of whole chromatin. The only combinations of histones capable of inducing chromatin-like DNA organization are H2A/H2B/H4 and those mixtures containing both H3 and H4. From an examination of the kinetics of digestion of H3/H4 reconstitutes, it was concluded that although the other histones have a role in DNA organization within the nucleosome, the arginine-rich histone pair, H3/H4, can organize DNA segments the length of the nucleosome core in the absence of all other histones.

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Accession: 006728976



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