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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Absence of nucleosomes in a histone-containing nucleoprotein complex obtained by dissociation of purified SV40 virions.

Reduction of disulfide bonds involving the major capsid protein with dithiothreitol and removal of the calcium ions by EGTA disrupts the simian virus 40 virions. This process yields normal circular viral minichromosomes containing the four core histones and traces of the capsid proteins at pH values higher than 8. 5. However, when carried out at pH 7.5, this procedure yields nucleoprotein complexes that contain both histones and the viral structural proteins. These pH 7.5 complexes appear as circular structures with a mean of 93 +/- 17 beads with a diameter of 7 nm and no visible nucleosomes when observed by electron microscopy. In contrast to the compaction of the viral DNA in minichromosomes, the length of these beaded structures is roughly the same as free DNA. We suggest that VP1, the major capsid protein, can act as a nucleosome unfolding agent in neutral pH and low ionic strength.[1]


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