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FEBS Lett. 1997 Jan 2;400(1):37-41.

In vitro low propensity to form nucleosomes of four telomeric sequences.

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Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia Molecolare, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy.


The structural aspects of nucleosome assembly on telomeres are largely unknown. We analyzed by competitive reconstitution the affinities for the histone octamer of telomeric sequences from four different eukaryotic groups, Arabidopsis thaliana, mammals, Tetrahymena, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. All telomeres reconstitute in nucleosomes with lower association constants than average nucleosomal DNA. DNase I digestion analysis suggests a multiple translational positioning and the lack of rotational positioning, probably due to telomeric repeats length (in most cases 6-8 bp), out of phase with the DNA helical repeat on the nucleosome (10.2 bp). These results could partly explain the lack of nucleosomes on lower eukaryote telomeres, and suggest a high in vivo mobility of telomeric nucleosomes.

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