Salt‐Induced Conformational Transitions in Chromatin: A Flow Linear Dichroism Study

Vladimir L. MAKAROV, Stephan I. DIMITROV, Peter T. PETROV

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The chromatin structure in solution has been studied by the flow linear dichroism method (LD) in a wide range of ionic strengths. It is found that increasing the ionic strength from 0.25 mM Na2EDTA, pH 7.0 to 100 mM NaCl leads to a strong reduction of the LD amplitude of chromatin and inversion of the LD sign from negative to positive at 2 mM NaCl. Chromatin exhibits a positive LD maximum value at 10–20 mM NaCl. These data enable us to conclude that in very low ionic strength (0.25 mM Na2EDTA) the nucleosome discs are oriented with their flat faces more or less parallel to the chromatin filament axis. Increasing ionic strength up to 20 mM NaCl leads to reorientation of the nucleosome discs and to formation of chromatin structures with nucleosome flat faces inclined to the fibril axis. A conformational transition of that kind is not revealed in H1‐depleted chromatin. The condensation of the chromatin filaments with increasing concentration of NaCl from 20 mM to 100 mM slightly influences the orientation of the nucleosomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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