The Organization and Control of Eukaryotic Genomes

The Structure of Chromosomes

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells both contain doublestranded DNA. Changes in the physical arrangement of DNA. Eukaryotic chromosomes contain an enormous amount of DNA. but their genomes are organized differently 2. affect gene expression 4. Gene make up only a tiny portion of the genomes of most multicellular eukaryotes . such as level of DNA packing. which requires an elaborate system of DNA packing to fit all of the cell¶s DNA into the nucleus 3.Key Concepts 1.

. First. Second. The estimated 35. the typical multicellular eukaryotic genome is much larger than that of a bacterium.The Structure of Chromatin Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells Gene expression in eukaryotes has two main differences from the same process in prokaryotes.000 genes in the human genome includes an enormous amount of DNA that does not program the synthesis of RNA or protein. cell specialization limits the expression of many genes to specific cells.

H2B.   In eukaryotes. H2B. H2A. Nucleosome core consists of an 8 histone complex containing two molecules each of H2A. . Out of these histones. H3 and H4. which are divided in to five main classes: H1.H3 and H4. The key to the bead like organisation of chromatin is its histone protiens. H2B. H3 and H4 are involved in formation of the fundamental sub-unit of chromatin called a nucleosome. H2A. which is nucleoprotien fibres with a beaded appearance. the DNA molecules are tightly complexed with protiens to form chromatin.

Each nucleosome is made up a histone octamer mainly made up of histones H2A. H3 and H4. The DNA turns in a 1. Histones consists of large amounts of positively charged amino acids mainly lysine and arginine. The next 50 bp links one nucleosome to another also interacting with another histone (H1) forming a thicker fibre consisting of six nucleosomes. which are extensively coiled and folded forming nucleosomes. that binds electro statically to the negatively charged phosphate groups of the DNA backbone. H2B.65 left handed orientation around each histone octamer covering a total of 146 bp of double stranded DNA. known as the solenoid . DNA is packed inside the nucleus in association with a number of proteins.


Histone with its function .

each DNA molecule would be about 6 cm long. ± This chromosome and 45 other human chromosomes fit into the nucleus.The Structure of Chromatin Eukaryotic chromosomes contain an enormous amount of DNA relative to their condensed length. thousands of times longer than the cell diameter. ± Each human chromosome averages about 2 x 108 nucleotide pairs. multilevel system of DNA packing. . ± If extended. ± This occurs through an elaborate.

in which DNA winds around a core of histone proteins. a nucleosome. ± The five types of histones are very similar from one eukaryote to another and are even present in bacteria.  .  Unfolded chromatin has the appearance of beads on a string.The Structure of Chromatin Histone proteins are responsible for the first level of DNA packaging. ± Their positively charged amino acids bind tightly to negatively charged DNA.

± By changing shape and position.  The beaded string coils to form the 30-nm chromatin fiber. nucleosomes allow RNA-synthesizing polymerases to move along the DNA.The Structure of Chromatin Histones leave the DNA only transiently during DNA replication.  .  This fiber forms looped domains attached to a scaffold of nonhistone proteins.  They stay with the DNA during transcription.

.  In a mitotic chromosome. the looped domains coil and fold to produce the characteristic metaphase chromosome. These packing steps are highly specific and precise with particular genes located in the same places.

heterochromatin.  The chromatin of each chromosome occupies a restricted area within the interphase nucleus. and less compacted areas.  Interphase chromosomes have areas that remain highly condensed.  Interphase .chromatin is generally much less condensed than the chromatin of mitosis. euchromatin.

Repetitive DNA a.Genome Organization at the DNA level 1. Interspresed repetitive DNA . Prokaryotes and eukaryotes Prokaryotes Eukaryotes 2. Tandemly repetitive DNA b.

Genome Organization at the DNA level .