Different micrococcal nuclease cleavage patterns characterize transcriptionally active and inactive sea-urchin histone genes. uri icon


  • The micrococcal nuclease cleavage sites have been mapped in the H2A coding and flanking regions of the sea-urchin histone DNA chromatin. A hypersensitive area, centered around - 100 base pairs from the H2A starting site, is found only in embryos actively transcribing the alpha-subtype histone genes. In mesenchyme blastula embryos, upon inactivation of the H2A gene, this region becomes protected while two other areas, near the transcription starting site and in the proximity of the 3' palindromic sequence, become preferential targets for the enzyme. Analysis of the pattern of micrococcal nuclease cleavage on the same region of the histone gene cluster in sperm and late blastula chromatin and on the corresponding segment of protein-free DNA indicates that distinct nucleosomal arrangements characterize the histone genes in the two cell populations.

publication date

  • April 15, 1986