The Structures and Functions of the Low Molecular Weight HMG Proteins

  • G. H. Goodwin
  • R. H. Nicolas
  • C. A. Wright
  • S. Zavou
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 101)


It is a widely held view that during the development of an organism genes that are to be activated in a particular cell type are assembled in a specific chromatin structure prior to the onset of transcription. Considerable effort has been devoted to elucidating the components of such “transcriptionally competent” chromatin. Evidence that active genes have a different chromatin structure from inactive genes has come from nuclease digestion experiments. In such experiments it has been found that all active genes or potentially active genes are very much more sensitive to digestion by DNase I than inactive genes. This sensitivity was primarily attributed to an altered core particle structure of the nucleosomes bound to active genes (1). The discovery that the small HMG proteins*, HMG-14 and HMG-17, could induce such a conformational change in nucleosomes (2) raised the possibility that the structural alterations that occur in nucleosomes prior to or during transcription could be analysed in detail.


High Mobility Group Chromosomal Protein Micrococcal Nuclease High Mobility Group Protein Nonhistone Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. H. Goodwin
    • 1
  • R. H. Nicolas
    • 1
  • C. A. Wright
    • 1
  • S. Zavou
    • 1
  1. 1.Chester Beatty LaboratoriesInstitute of Cancer ResearchLondonUK

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