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Updated: Jun 10 2020

Chromatin Structure

  • Overview
    • Composition
      • DNA
        • - charge
      • histone proteins
        • + charge from Lys and Arg residues
        • H2A, H2B, H3, H4 (core proteins)
        • H1 (linking protein)
        • post-translational modification of histone tails
          • forms a code
          • interpreted by effector proteins to regulate transcription downstream
          • histone acetyltransferase (HAT)
            • acetyl group added which blocks positive charge of histone protein and loosens interaction with DNA
            • ↑ transcription
          • histone deacetylase (HDAC)
            • removes acetyl group which exposes positive charge and tightens interactions
            • ↓ transcription
      • electrostatic attraction of DNA with histone proteins
    • Organization
      • 10 nm chromatin
        • DNA wraps around dimer of H2A:H2B:H3:H4
        • called nucleosome
        • sensitive to nuclease activity
      • 30 nm chromatin
        • nucleosomes held together by H1
        • not sensitive to nuclease activity
      • 30 nm fiber loops
        • further condensation
    • Euchromatin/heterochromatin
      • euchromatin = accessible to transcription
        • 10 nm through 30 nm fiber loops
      • heterochromatin = not accessible to transcription
        • any greater condensation than 30 nm fiber loops
        • condensed to save room
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