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DNA in mammalian, and most vertebrate sperm, is packaged by protamines into a highly condensed, biochemically inert form of chromatin. A model is proposed for the structure of this DNA-protamine complex which describes the site and mode of protamine binding to DNA and postulates, for the first time, specific inter- and intraprotamine interactions essential(More)
OBJECTIVE To determine whether the reduction in the protamine P2 content (increased P1/P2 ratio) reported in some infertile patients could result from incomplete processing of protamine P2 precursors. DESIGN Analysis of samples with a marked reduction in the protamine P2 content using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subsequent detection of(More)
RecBCD enzyme is a processive DNA helicase and nuclease that participates in the repair of chromosomal DNA through homologous recombination. We have visualized directly the movement of individual RecBCD enzymes on single molecules of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Detection involves the optical trapping of solitary, fluorescently tagged dsDNA molecules that(More)
The DNA in human sperm chromatin is packaged into nucleoprotamine (approximately 85%) and nucleohistone (approximately 15%). Whether these two chromatin fractions are sequence-specific subsets of the spermatozoon genome is the question addressed in this report. Sequence-specific packaging would suggest distinct structural and functional roles for the(More)
Conditions are described that permit the quantitative extraction of chromatin proteins from the epididymal sperm of the mouse. These proteins have been isolated free of contaminating tail proteins following removal of the tails with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Without this treatment, numerous acid-soluble tail proteins coextract with the nuclear(More)
We have compared the relative proportion of protamine 1 (P1) and protamine 2 (P2) bound to DNA in the sperm of a variety of eutherian mammals to obtain insight into how these two proteins interact in sperm chromatin. Gel electrophoresis (combined with microdensitometry) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used to determine the content of(More)
We used high-resolution atomic force microscopy to image the compaction of linear and circular DNA by the yeast mitochondrial protein Abf2p, which plays a major role in packaging mitochondrial DNA. Atomic force microscopy images show that protein binding induces drastic bends in the DNA backbone for both linear and circular DNA. At a high concentration of(More)
Toroidal DNA condensates have received considerable attention for their possible relationship to the packaging of DNA in viruses and in general as a model of ordered DNA condensation. A spool-like model has primarily been supported for DNA organization within toroids. However, our observations suggest that the actual organization may be considerably(More)
Mouse and rat seminiferous tubule fragment cultures were used to examine synthesis and processing of mammalian protamines and transition proteins. The tubule fragments were incubated with [3H]-arginine, [3H]-histidine, [35S]-cysteine, or [32P]-PO4, and radiolabeled proteins were analyzed by acid/urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography or(More)
Human sperm nuclei were isolated with mixed alkyltrimethylammonium bromide and dithiothreitol (MATAB/DTT) and decondensed by treatments with lithium diiodosalicylate (LIS), sodium chloride, or Tris salts. Concentrations as low as 1 mM LIS induced measurable nuclear swelling compared to 600 mM required for the other two salts. As measured by image analyses,(More)