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Nucleosome Positioning

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ISRN Molecular Biology
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  • Biology

Abstract

Nucleosome positioning is not only related to genomic DNA compaction but also to other biological functions. After the chromatin is digested by micrococcal nuclease, nucleosomal (nucleosome-bound) DNA fragments can be sequenced and mapped on the genomic DNA sequence. Due to the development of modern DNA sequencing technology, genome-wide nucleosome mapping has been performed in a wide range of eukaryotic species. Comparative analyses of the nucleosome positions have revealed that the nucleosome is more frequently formed in exonic than intronic regions, and that most of transcription start and translation (or transcription) end sites are located in nucleosome linker DNA regions, indicating that nucleosome positioning influences transcription initiation, transcription termination, and gene splicing. In addition, nucleosomal DNA contains guanine and cytosine (G + C)-rich sequences and a high level of cytosine methylation. Thus, the nucleosome positioning system has been conserved during eukaryotic evolution.

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