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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 20;276(16):12764-8. Epub 2001 Jan 24.

Effects of histone acetylation on the solubility and folding of the chromatin fiber.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P6, Canada.


The folding ability of chromatin fractions containing approximately identical nucleosome numbers and the same linker histone composition, but with different extents of core histone acetylation, were analyzed by analytical ultracentrifugation. It was found that the acetylated fractions consistently exhibited a relatively small but significantly lower extent of compaction than that of their native nonacetylated counterparts. This was regardless of the extent of the size distribution heterogeneity of the fractions analyzed. Furthermore the acetylated chromatin fibers exhibited an enhanced solubility in both NaCl and MgCl(2), which is neither the result of a differential binding affinity of the linker histones to chromatin nor of an alteration in the relative amounts of the histone H1 variants.

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