Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists' discovery may force revision of biology textbooks: Novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome

Date:
August 18, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Basic biology textbooks may need a bit of revising now that biologists have discovered a never-before-noticed component of our basic genetic material.

Biologists have discovered a novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome. While it looks like a nucleosome, it is in fact a distinct particle of its own, researchers say.
Credit: James Kadonaga, UC San Diego

Basic biology textbooks may need a bit of revising now that biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a never-before-noticed component of our basic genetic material.

Related Articles


According to the textbooks, chromatin, the natural state of DNA in the cell, is made up of nucleosomes. And nucleosomes are the basic repeating unit of chromatin.

When viewed by a high powered microscope, nucleosomes look like beads on a string. But in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, UC San Diego biologists report their discovery of a novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome. While it looks like a nucleosome, they say, it is in fact a distinct particle of its own.

"This novel particle was found as a precursor to a nucleosome," said James Kadonaga, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research team and calls the particle a "pre-nucleosome." "These findings suggest that it is necessary to reconsider what chromatin is. The pre-nucleosome is likely to be an important player in how our genetic material is duplicated and used."

The biologists say that while the pre-nucleosome may look something like a nucleosome under the microscope, biochemical tests have shown that it is in reality halfway between DNA and a nucleosome.

These pre-nucleosomes, the researchers say, are converted into nucleosomes by a motor protein that uses the energy molecule ATP.

"The discovery of pre-nucleosomes suggests that much of chromatin, which has been generally presumed to consist only of nucleosomes, may be a mixture of nucleosomes and pre-nucleosomes," said Kadonaga. "So, this discovery may be the beginning of a revolution in our understanding of what chromatin is."

"The packaging of DNA with histone proteins to form chromatin helps stabilize chromosomes and plays an important role in regulating gene activities and DNA replication," said Anthony Carter, who oversees chromatin grants at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research. "The discovery of a novel intermediate DNA-histone complex offers intriguing insights into the nature of chromatin and may help us better understand how it impacts these key cellular processes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. The original article was written by Kim McDonald. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sharon E. Torigoe, Debra L. Urwin, Haruhiko Ishii, Douglas E. Smith, James T. Kadonaga. Identification of a Rapidly Formed Nonnucleosomal Histone-DNA Intermediate that Is Converted into Chromatin by ACF. Molecular Cell, 2011; 43 (4): 638-648 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.07.017

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Biologists' discovery may force revision of biology textbooks: Novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142842.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2011, August 18). Biologists' discovery may force revision of biology textbooks: Novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142842.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Biologists' discovery may force revision of biology textbooks: Novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818142842.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) If you’ve ever wondered what getting takeout looks like for lions in Africa, the GoPro video from Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson will give you a lion’s-eye view of the hunt. Jen Markham has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins