Structural rearrangement of histone-H1-depleted chromatin during thermal denaturation

Stephan I. Dimitrov, Irina R. Tsaneva, Iliya G. Pashev, George G. Markov

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The influence of thermal denaturation on the nucleosomal structure of histone-H1-depleted chromatin was studied using psoralen-treated nucleoprotein preparations subjected to partial thermal denaturation. DNA was cross-linked with psoralen to ensure its complete renaturation upon cooling. The structure of the preheated nucleoprotein was investigated by thermal denaturation, kinetics of hydrolysis and DNA fragment pattern obtained upon digestion with micrococcal nuclease. The electron micrographs of the partially denatured nucleohistone showed gross changes in the nucleosomal structure which were consistent with a sliding of histone cores along DNA as recently reported by Tsaneva et al. (Tsaneva, I., Dimitrov, S., Pashev, I. and Tsanev. R., FEBS Lett., (1980) 112, 143-146). This interpretation is strongly supported by the following features of the partially denatured material: a, increased rate of degradation of DNA by micrococcal nuclease; b, melting of a part of DNA as a protein-free DNA; and c, shortening of the DNA repeat length upon digestion with micro-coccal nuclease. The sliding of the core histones is parallelled by the denaturation of histones, which accounts for the very intensive background in the DNA digestion pattern, the loss of nucleosome morphology at higher temperatures, and the disappearance in the melting profile of the transition at 72°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalBBA Section Nucleic Acids And Protein Synthesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 1980
Externally publishedYes



  • Chromatin
  • Denaturation
  • Histone H1
  • Nucleoprotein
  • Nucleosome sliding
  • Psoralen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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