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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 May 1;25(9):1727-35.

Chromatin structure and methylation of rat rRNA genes studied by formaldehyde fixation and psoralen cross-linking.

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  • 1Institute of Cell Biology, ETH-Honggerberg, 8093 Z├╝rich, Switzerland.

Abstract

By using formaldehyde cross-linking of histones to DNA and gel retardation assays we show that formaldehyde fixation, similar to previously established psoralen photocross-linking, discriminates between nucleosome- packed (inactive) and nucleosome-free (active) fractions of ribosomal RNA genes. By both cross-linking techniques we were able to purify fragments from agarose gels, corresponding to coding, enhancer and promoter sequences of rRNA genes, which were further investigated with respect to DNA methylation. This approach allows us to analyse independently and in detail methylation patterns of active and inactive rRNA gene copies by the combination of Hpa II and Msp I restriction enzymes. We found CpG methylation mainly present in enhancer and promoter regions of inactive rRNA gene copies. The methylation of one single Hpa II site, located in the promoter region, showed particularly strong correlation with the transcriptional activity.

PMID:
9108154
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC146648
Free PMC Article
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