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Road signs and traffic signals on DNA
Date:8/20/2010

logical data if one assumes that the boundaries on either side of a nucleosome-free zone are defined by different conditions. "On the side nearer the transcription initiation site, there must be a fixed nucleosome that prevents sliding along the DNA, like a sign saying 'Road Closed'", explains Gerland. "At the other end of the open stretch there has to be a larger segment that is refractory to nucleosome assembly. In other words, there must be a signal that serves as a No Parking sign for nucleosomes."

The results obtained by Mbius and Gerland for the first time quantitatively confirm a statistical model for the distribution of nucleosomes in the genome proposed by the American biochemist Roger Kornberg, (who first discovered nucelosomes in 1974, and won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his studies on the structure of RNA polymerase in 2009). The new model contributes to our understanding of the rules that determine how chromosome structure is established and modulated. "Our calculations should certainly help to decode the so-called chromatin code, the basis for which is not well understood", says Gerland. "This code provides the blueprint for the three-dimensional structure of the genome." (CA)


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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