Chromatin structure visualization by immunoelectron microscopy.


Antibodies elicited in rabbits by chromatin and by purified histone H2B have been used to study the structure of chromatin by immunoelectron microscopy. Chromatin spread on grids reveals a structure of closely packed spherical particles with an average diameter of 104 A, arranged either in clusters or in linear arrays of beads, some of which have a supercoil-like arrangement. No DNA strings connecting the beads could be observed. Upon antibody binding, the diameter of the particles increases up to 300 A. This size is compatible with a model where one layer of gamma globulin molecules 110 A long encircles a sphere of chromatin 100 A in diameter. The presence of rabbit gamma globulins on the enlarged beads has been verified by the addition of ferritin-labeled goat anti-rabbit gamma globulins. Anti-chromatin sera which react with nonhistone proteins but not with free histones or DNA react with more than 95% of the beads; this suggests that most of the beads contain nonhistone proteins. Since the number of nonhistone proteins is large, it is improbable that each sphere contains a full complement of these proteins. We therefore suggest that the various chromatin spheres contain different types of nonhistone proteins. About 90% of the chromatin spheres reacted with antibodies to histone H2B, suggesting the most of the chromatin beads contain this type of histone.


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@article{Bustin1976ChromatinSV, title={Chromatin structure visualization by immunoelectron microscopy.}, author={Michael Bustin and David Goldblatt and R. Sperling}, journal={Cell}, year={1976}, volume={7 2}, pages={297-304} }