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Cell. 1994 Feb 25;76(4):609-22.

Metaphase chromosome structure: bands arise from a differential folding path of the highly AT-rich scaffold.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Using the highly AT-specific fluorochrome daunomycin, a longitudinal optical signal called AT queue, thought to arise from a line-up of the highly AT-rich scaffold-associated regions (SARs) by the scaffolding, was identified in native chromosomes. Fluorescence banding is proposed to result from a differential folding path of the AT queue during its progression from telomere to telomere. The AT queue is tightly coiled or folded in a Q band, the resulting transverse striations across the chromatid, which also represent Giemsa subbands, generating a bright AT-rich signal over the Q region. The R bands, in contrast, contain a more central (unfolded) AT queue, yielding an AT-dull signal over the R regions. The AT queue is identified by immunofluorescence against topoisomerase II (topo II) and HMG-I/Y as the scaffold of native chromosomes; the fluorescence signal from both proteins is akin to a detailed Q-type banding pattern. Native chromosomes appear assembled according to the loop-scaffold model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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