Single-molecule compaction of megabase-long chromatin molecules by multivalent cations
Berezhnoy, Nikolay V.
Rosencrans, William M.
van der Maarel, Johan R. C.
Date of Issue2017
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering
To gain insight into the conformational properties and compaction of megabase-long chromatin molecules, we reconstituted chromatin from T4 phage DNA (165 kb) and recombinant human histone octamers (HO). The unimolecular compaction, induced by divalent Mg2+ or tetravalent spermine4+ cations, studied by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy (FM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) techniques, resulted in the formation of 250–400 nm chromatin condensates. The compaction on this scale of DNA size is comparable to that of chromatin topologically associated domains (TAD) in vivo. Variation of HO loading revealed a number of unique features related to the efficiency of chromatin compaction by multivalent cations, the mechanism of compaction, and the character of partly compact chromatin structures. The observations may be relevant for how DNA accessibility in chromatin is maintained. Compaction of saturated chromatin, in turn, is accompanied by an intra-chain segregation at the level of single chromatin molecules, suggesting an intriguing scenario of selective activation/deactivation of DNA as a result of chromatin fiber heterogeneity due to the nucleosome positioning. We suggest that this chromatin, reconstituted on megabase-long DNA because of its large size, is a useful model of eukaryotic chromatin.
Nucleic Acids Research
© 2017 The Author(s) (published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org