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Packaging of DNA in cricket sperm:A compact mode of DNA packaging

Authors
Journal
Journal of Molecular Biology
0022-2836
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
204
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(88)90362-2
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Abstract The packaging of DNA in the sperm of the house cricket ( Gryllus bimaculatus) was investigated by microscopical and diffraction methods. The principle of DNA packaging in the cricket sperm is parallel bundling. This is in contrast with that in somatic cells, which assumes successive supercoiling. About 240 threads of DNA are bundled into one 300 Å fiber, and then more than 200 fibers (300 Å) are packed in a parallel manner in one nucleus. Therefore, DNA is oriented so that its helix axis is parallel with the long axis of the nucleus. This simple packaging of DNA is maintained by a newly discovered protein, 17 K protein; no histones were found. The packaging ratio (the ratio of the volume of DNA to that of the suprastructure) of the chromatin is about 1 and shows an effectiveness much higher than that of the nucleosome solenoid structure. The mode of packaging DNA in cricket sperm is different from the nucleosome structure, and is a quite new type of packaging.

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