The position of chromosomal proteins HMG-14 and HMG-17 in nucleosome cores and in chromatosomes lacking linker histones has been mapped by hydroxyl radical footprinting. Both the nucleosome core and the H1/H5 depleted chromatosome can specifically bind two molecules of HMG-14/-17. The path of HMG-14 on the surface of chromatin subunits is indistinguishable from that of HMG-17. The bound HMGs protect the DNA from hydroxyl radical cleavage 25 base-pairs from the end of the DNA in nucleosome cores and in each of the two major grooves of the DNA flanking the nucleosomal dyad axis. Thus, in both cores and H1/H5-depleted chromatosomes the proteins bridge two adjacent DNA strands on the surface of the particles. The sites occupied by HMG near the end of the chromatosome-length particles are distinct from those occupied by the H1/H5 linker histones. In the region of the dyad axis the binding sites of HMGs overlap those of the linker histones. The placement of HMG-14/-17 near the nucleosomal dyad axis raises the possibility that interactions between histone H1 and HMGs may affect the transcriptional potential of chromatin.
- Histone H1
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