Nucleosomal array condensation : new insights into an old "tail"
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The DNA present within the nucleus of each human somatic cell, when extended end to end, would span a distance of about one meter. The first level of compaction critical to fitting the entire genome into the nucleus is the nucleosome, consisting of 147 base pairs of DNA wrapped 1.7 times around an octameric structure composed of the four core histones H2A, H2B, H3 and H4. Nucleosomes separated by up to 80 base pairs of linker DNA called nucleosomal arrays compact the DNA further through short range intra-array and long range inter-array contacts that generate different levels of higher order ...