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Absence of nucleosomes in transcriptionally active chromatin

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-40646
  • The ultrastructure of twO kinds of transcription ally active chromatin, the lampbrush chromosome loops and the nucleoli from amphibian oocytes and primary nuclei of the green alga Acetabularia, has been examined after manual isolation and dispersion in low salt media of slightly alkaline pH using various electron microscopic staining techniques (positive staining, metal shadowing, negative staining, preparation on positively charged films, etc.) and compared with the appearance of chromatin from various somatic cells (hen erythrocytes, ratThe ultrastructure of twO kinds of transcription ally active chromatin, the lampbrush chromosome loops and the nucleoli from amphibian oocytes and primary nuclei of the green alga Acetabularia, has been examined after manual isolation and dispersion in low salt media of slightly alkaline pH using various electron microscopic staining techniques (positive staining, metal shadowing, negative staining, preparation on positively charged films, etc.) and compared with the appearance of chromatin from various somatic cells (hen erythrocytes, rat hepatocytes, ClIltured murine sarcoma cells) prepared in parallel. While typical nucleosomes were revealed with all the techniques for chromatin from the latter three cell system, no nucleosomes were identified in either the lampbrush chromosome structures or the nucleolar chromatin. Nucleosomal arrays were absent not only in maximally fibril-covered matrix units but also in fibril-free regions between transcriptional complexes, including the apparent spacer intercepts between different transcriptional units. Moreover, comparisons of the length of the repeating units of rDNA in the transcribed state with those determined in the isolated rDNA and with the lengths of the first stable product of rDNA transcription, the pre-rRNA, demonstrated that the transcribed rDNA was not significantly shortened and/or condensed but rather extended in the transcriptional units. Distinct granules of about nucleosomal size which were sometimes found in apparent spacer regions as well as within matrix units of reduced fibril density were shown not to represent nucleosomes since their number per spacer unit was not inversely correlated with the length of the specific unit and also on the basis of their resistance to treatment with the detergent Sarkosyl NL-30. It is possible to structurally distinguish between transcriptionally active chromatin in which the DNA is extended in a non-nucleosomal form of chromatin and condensed, inactive chromatin within the typical nucleosomal package. The characteristic extended structure of transcriptionally active chromatin is found not only in the transcribed genes but also in non-transcribed regions within or between ("spacer") transcriptional units as well as in transcriptional units that are untranscribed amidst transcribed ones and/or have been inactivated for relatively short time. It is hypothesized that activation of transcription involves a transition from a nucleosomal to an extended chromatin organisation and that this structural transition is not specific for single "activated" genes but may involve larger chromatin regions, including adjacent untranscribed intercepts.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Werner W. Franke, Ulrich Scheer, Michael F. Trendelenburg, Herbert Spring, Hanswalter Zentgraf
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-40646
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Year of Completion:1976
Source:In: Cytobiologie (1976) 13, 401-434.
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
GND Keyword:Cytologie
Tag:Chromatin structure; electron microscopy; nucleosomes; transcription
Release Date:2010/01/14