It is demonstrated that the histone (H3-H4)2 tetramer can find specific positions on DNA, even in the absence of other histones. Purified histone (H3-H4)2 tetramers were reconstituted onto 208-base-pair (bp) DNA molecules containing a nucleosome-positioning sequence by using salt-gradient dialysis. The stoichiometry of histone tetramer to DNA was shown to be 1:1. Digestion with micrococcal nuclease led to formation of protected DNA fragments of approximately 73 bp. Cleavage of the 73-bp DNA with restriction enzymes produced a small set of defined bands, demonstrating positioning of the (H3-H4)2 tetramer on DNA. Analysis of the restriction digests shows that the 73-bp DNA corresponds mainly to two fragments, one lying on either side of the pseudo-dyad axis of the major position adopted by complete histone octamers on this DNA. This result means that a single (H3-H4)2 histone tetramer can fold approximately 146 bp of DNA with the same positioning as the complete octamer but that a region near the pseudo-dyad is only weakly protected against micrococcal nuclease attack in the absence of histones H2A and H2B.