We have examined the role played by each histone in forming the structure of the ν-body. When DNAase I, DNAase II, trypsin, and chymotrypsin attack chromatin, characteristic discrete DNA and protein digest fragments are produced. Using this restriction of accessibility as diagnostic for chromatin structure, we have examined complexes of DNA with virtually all possible combinations of histones. The results strongly support our previous conclusion (Camerini-Otero, Sollner-Webb, and Felsenfeld, 1976) that the arginine-rich histones are unique in their ability to create, with DNA, a structure with many features of native chromatin. Acting together, slightly lysine-rich histones then modify this complex into one very similar to native chromatin. An analysis of the rate constants of staphylococcal nuclease digestion also confirms that the complex of H3, H4, and DNA is crucial to the structure of the ν-body.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)