How short-ranged electrostatics controls the chromatin structure on much larger scales
Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Theory Group
P.O. Box 3148, D-55021 Mainz, Germany
Accepted: 14 January 2002
We propose that the degree of swelling of the 30 chromatin fiber (a “measure” of its transcriptional activity) is mainly determined by the short-ranged electrostatical interaction between different sections of the “folded” DNA chain. These sections constitute only a small fraction of the chain and they are located close to the entry-exit points of the DNA chain at the nucleosome core particles. We present a model that allows to estimate the degree of swelling of chromatin fibers as a function of salt concentration, charge density of the strands, etc. Different mechanisms by which the state of chromatin can be controlled in vitro and in vivo are discussed.
PACS: 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties / 36.20.Ey – Conformation (statistics and dynamics)
© EDP Sciences, 2002