Histories associated with single-stranded DNA do not preclude the formation of double-helical DNA

Xavier Fernandez-Busquets, Joan Ramon Daban

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The effect of histones on the reaction of reassociation of the two complementary strands of DNA from different sources has been investigated. The reassociation rate of denatured linear DNA from bacteriophage M13 monitored spectrophotometrically and using nuclease S1 is roughly the same in the presence and absence of core histones at physiological ionic strength. Electron microscopy reveals that in the samples containing histones a large network of duplex DNA is produced. Nevertheless, closed circular M13 DNA and a cloned DNA fragment (158 bp) from nucleosomal origin are entirely renatured in the presence of histones as demonstrated by the well-defined double-stranded DNA bands seen in electrophoretic gels. Various experiments performed using the purified (+) and (-) strands of the cloned nucleosome DNA fragment at low ionic strength indicate that core histones initially bound to one or even to the two strands allow the formation of duplex DNA. These findings and the results obtained with partially denatured closed circular M13 DNA allow us to conclude that core histones neither prevent the nucleation nor inhibit the rapid zippering reactions leading to the formation of double-stranded DNA. The mechanism that allows the renaturation of DNA in the presence of histones may also participate in biological processes involving the pairing of complementary nucleotides. © 1995.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
JournalBBA - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 1995


  • DNA renaturation
  • Histone
  • Single-stranded DNA


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