DNA chain flexibility and the structure of chromatin nu-bodies.


The persistence length of high-molecular-weight, monodisperse-bihelical DNA has been evaluated from low-shear flow birefingence and viscosity data at several temperatures in 2.0 M Nacl neutral pH buffer. At these solvent conditions, both the DNA and histone components of chromatin nu-bodies have structural features similar to those in the intact nucleohistone complex at low ionic strength. The theory of Landau and Lifshitz is used to relate the experimental result to the thermodynamic functions for bending 140 nucleotide pairs of DNA into a plausible model structure: per nu-body, delta Gb=43.8 +/- 5.3 kcal/mole, delta Hb= 45.7 +/- 3.7 kcal/mole, and delta Sb = 6.2 +/- 12.4 entropy units. This bending free energy is comparable to or less than that estimated to be required for a kinked DNA configuration and appears to be well within the range of estimated electrostatic free energies available from DNA-histone interactions in a nu-body assembly.

Cite this paper

@article{Harrington1977DNACF, title={DNA chain flexibility and the structure of chromatin nu-bodies.}, author={R. E. Harrington}, journal={Nucleic acids research}, year={1977}, volume={4 10}, pages={3519-35} }