Electro-Optical Properties of Nucleosomes and Nucleosomal DNA

  • B. Roux
  • C. Marion
  • J. C. Bernengo


Rat liver soluble chromatin is digested by micrococcal nuclease. The birefringence of the seven fractions obtained from sucrose gradient is studied in 1 mM phosphate buffer pH 7.4, 0.2 mM EDTA. Electro-optical properties and relaxation times show a sharp transition when the number n of nucleosomes in the oligomer chain is greater than 6: the negative birefringence becomes positive and no signal is observed for the hexamer. The monomer relaxation time (0.6 µs) agrees with a prolate ellipsoid model of dimensions about 140 x 140 x 70 Å. The relaxation time varies also with n: it is a maximum for the dimer (1.8 µs)and decreases slightly up to the pentamer. These results may be interpreted in terms of a superstructure of nucleosome chains.


Longe Relaxation Time Micrococcal Nuclease Oligomer Chain Negative Birefringence Birefringence Signal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Roux
    • 1
  • C. Marion
    • 1
  • J. C. Bernengo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Chimie BiologiqueUniversité C. Bernard Lyon IVilleurbanneFrance

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