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J Mol Biol. 1996 May 3;258(2):224-39.

The stability of nucleosomes at the replication fork.

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Insititute of Cell Biology, Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Purified simian virus (SV40) minichromosomes were photoreacted with psoralen under various conditions that moderately destabilize nucleosomes. This assay allows indirect distinction between stable nucleosomes, partially unravelled nucleosomes and nucleosomes containing (or lacking) histone H1. In replicating molecules the passage of the replication machinery destabilizes the nucleosomal organization of the chromatin fiber over a distance of 650 to 1100 bp. In front of the fork, an average of two nucleosomes are destabilized presumably by the dissociation of histone H1 and the advancing replication machinery. On daughter strands, the first nucleosome is detected at a distance of about 260 nucleotides from the elongation point. This nucleosome is interpreted to contain no histone H1, while no stepwise association of (H3-H4)2 tetramers with H2A/H2B dimers on nascent DNA can be detected in vivo. The second nucleosome after the replication fork appears to contain histone H1. The prolonged nuclease sensitivity of newly replicated chromatin described in the literature therefore may not be due to a slow reassociation of histone H1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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