Sep 6, 2019

DNA accessibility of chromatosomes quantified by automated image analysis of AFM data

Scientific Reports
Martin WürtzKarl Rohr


DNA compaction and accessibility in eukaryotes are governed by nucleosomes and orchestrated through interactions between DNA and DNA-binding proteins. Using QuantAFM, a method for automated image analysis of atomic force microscopy (AFM) data, we performed a detailed statistical analysis of structural properties of mono-nucleosomes. QuantAFM allows fast analysis of AFM images, including image preprocessing, object segmentation, and quantification of different structural parameters to assess DNA accessibility of nucleosomes. A comparison of nucleosomes reconstituted with and without linker histone H1 quantified H1's already described ability of compacting the nucleosome. We further employed nucleosomes bearing two charge-modifying mutations at position R81 and R88 in histone H2A (H2A R81E/R88E) to characterize DNA accessibility under destabilizing conditions. Upon H2A mutation, even in presence of H1, the DNA opening angle at the entry/exit site was increased and the DNA wrapping length around the histone core was reduced. Interestingly, a distinct opening of the less bendable DNA side was observed upon H2A mutation, indicating an enhancement of the intrinsic asymmetry of the Widom-601 nucleosomes. This study validates AFM as a ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Positioning Attribute
MIR601 gene
Nucleosome Location
Microscopy, Atomic Force
Site of Exit
Histone H1
DNA Binding Domain

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