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J Mol Biol. 1996 Apr 19;257(5):919-34.

Chromatin structure of the yeast URA3 gene at high resolution provides insight into structure and positioning of nucleosomes in the chromosomal context.

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  • 1Institut für Zellbiologie ETH-Hönggerberg, Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

To characterize nucleosome structure and positioning in the chromosomal context, the chromatin structure of the whole URA3 gene was studied in the genome and in a minichromosome by testing the accessibility of DNA to micrococcal nuclease and DNase I. The cutting patterns and hence the chromatin structures were almost indistinguishable in the genome and in the minichromosomes. The only notable exception was enhanced cutting between nucleosomes U3/U4 and U4/U5 in the minichromosomes. The results demonstrate that there is no severe constraint acting from outside the URA3 gene in chromosomes and minichromosomes. While low-resolution mapping showed six regions with a positioned nucleosome (U1 to U6), each region resolved in a complex pattern consistent with multiple overlapping positions. Some regions (U1, U4, U5 and U6) showed multiple positions with a dominant rotational setting (DNase I pattern), while U2 showed positioning within 10 bp but with no defined rotational setting, demonstrating that nucleosome positions were not in phase and not coordinately regulated. Reduced DNase I cutting from about 50 bp form the 5' end towards 3' end was common to all nucleosome regions. This polarity has been observed on isolated core particles. The results demonstrate that the DNase I pattern observed in vitro indeed reflects a structural property of nucleosomes in the chromosomal context. It is emphasized that despite the local heterogeneity revealed by high-resolution mapping, the low-resolution map is a reasonably accurate representation of the chromatin structure.

PMID:
8632475
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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