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Biochemistry. 1988 Mar 22;27(6):2109-20.

Deposition of newly synthesized histones: hybrid nucleosomes are not tandemly arranged on daughter DNA strands.

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Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226.


Density labeling procedures have been utilized to study the dynamics of histone-histone interactions in vivo. Cells were labeled for 60 min with dense amino acids, and the label was chased for up to 22 h (two replication events for these cells). Nuclei were isolated and treated with formaldehyde to stabilize the histone-histone interactions with a covalent cross-link that produces an octameric complex of two each of H3, H2B, H2A, and H4. This complex was then extracted from the DNA and analyzed on density gradients. The results indicate that new H3,H4 deposits as a tetramer and does not dissociate in the subsequent chases. New H2A,H2B deposited as a dimer and also does not dissociate in subsequent chases. These new histones form hybrid octamers with old histones. On the basis of the new:old ratio in the hybrid octamers, we propose that additional old H2A,H2B from elsewhere in the genome interacts with tetramers of new H3,H4 to form the newly synthesized nucleosomes. It is also observed that 5% of the cross-linked complexes produced by formaldehyde are octamer-octamer (dioctamer). Upon analysis of the density of the dioctamer, the hybrid octamers were found adjacent to octamers that were homogeneous with respect to containing normal density histones. Control experiments are presented to demonstrate that the octamer-octamer cross-links are a product of intrastrand and not interstrand interactions between nucleosomes. These same control experiments also indicate that these procedures do not induce histone exchange during the preparative procedure prior to density gradient analysis. The significance of these results with regard to the dynamics of histone-histone interactions at the replication fork and the potential role in the maintenance of differentiation is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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