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Cell. 1983 Oct;34(3):1033-42.

Reversible changes in nucleosome structure and histone H3 accessibility in transcriptionally active and inactive states of rDNA chromatin.


The sulfhydryl reagent iodoacetamidofluorescein (IAF) was used to probe the structure of chromatin subunits in transcribed and nontranscribed regions of Physarum rDNA. IAF labels histone H3 -SH groups in the elongated monomeric subunits (A particles) from the transcribed region, but it does not label H3 in the 11S monomers from the nontranscribed central spacer. All H3 reactivity is lost from rDNA chromatin in the inactive spherule stage of Physarum. Restriction cleavage of rDNA chromatin generates fragments from the transcription unit with reactive H3 -SH groups, whereas fragments containing nontranscribed spacer sequences are unreactive. The extended rDNA chromatin contains all four core histones and other prominent proteins. Electron microscopy shows that most of the extended subunits consist of two roughly spherical bodies connected by a 50 bp nucleoprotein bridge.

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