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Nucleosomes are the major structural elements of chromatin. Each nucleosome is formed by a 147 bp DNA fragment wrapped around an octamer composed of pairs of histone molecules of four types. In addition to DNA compacting, the most important function of nucleosomes is their interaction with the molecular components of the nucleus machineries involved in DNA replication, repair and recombination. The key role in gene transcription is also assigned to nucleosomes (Kornberg et al., 1999; Aalfs et al., 2000).
(Kornberg et al., 1999) Twenty-five years of the nucleosome, fundamental particle of the eukaryote chromosome. Cell.
(Aalfs et al., 2000) What does ‘chromatin remodeling’ mean? Trends Biochem Sci.
(Levitsky et al., 2005) NPRD: Nucleosome Positioning Region Database. Nucleic Acids Res.