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Structural organization of spacer chromatin between transcribed ribosomal RNA genes in amphibian oocytes

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-41057
  • Transcribed nucleolar chomatin, including the spacer regions interspersed between the rRNA genes, is different from the bulk of nontranscribed chromatin in that the DNA of these regions appears to be in an extended (B) conformation when examined by electron microscopy. The possibility that this may reflect artificial unfolding of nucleosomes during incubation in very low salt buffers as routinely used in such spread preparations has been examined by studying the influence of various ion concentrations on nucleolar chromatin structure. AmplifiedTranscribed nucleolar chomatin, including the spacer regions interspersed between the rRNA genes, is different from the bulk of nontranscribed chromatin in that the DNA of these regions appears to be in an extended (B) conformation when examined by electron microscopy. The possibility that this may reflect artificial unfolding of nucleosomes during incubation in very low salt buffers as routinely used in such spread preparations has been examined by studying the influence of various ion concentrations on nucleolar chromatin structure. Amplified nucleolar chromatin of amphibian oocytes (Xenopus laevis, Pleurodeles waltlii, Triturus cristatus) was spread in various concentrations of NaCl (range 0 to 20 mM). Below 1 mM salt spacer chromatin frequently revealed a variable number of irregularly shaped beads, whereas above this concentration the chromatin axis appeared uniformly smooth. At all salt concentrations studied, however, the length distribution of spacer and gene regions was identical. Preparations fixed with glutaraldehyde instead of formaldehyde, or unftxed preparations, were indistinguishable in this respect. The observations indicate that (i) rDNA spacer regions are not compacted into nucleosomal particles and into supranucleosomal structures when visualized at chromatin stabilizing salt concentrations (e.g., 20 mM NaCl), and (ii) spacer DNA is covered by a uniform layer of proteins of unknown nature which, at very low salt concentrations (below 1 mM NaCl), can artificially give rise to the appearance of small granular particles of approximately nucleosome-like sizes. These particles, however, are different from nucleosomes in that they do not foreshorten the associated spacer DNA. The data support the concept of an altered nucleohistone conformation not only in transcribed chromatin but also in the vicinity of transcriptional events.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Ulrich Scheer
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-41057
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Year of Completion:1980
Source:In: European Journal of Cell Biology (1980) 23, 189 - 196.
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
GND Keyword:Cytologie
Tag:Chromatin structure; amphibian oocytes; rDNA
Release Date:2010/01/27