PMID: 8294509Feb 1, 1994Paper

Nuclear assembly with lambda DNA in fractionated Xenopus egg extracts: an unexpected role for glycogen in formation of a higher order chromatin intermediate

The Journal of Cell Biology
P HartlD J Forbes


Crude extracts of Xenopus eggs are capable of nuclear assembly around chromatin templates or even around protein-free, naked DNA templates. Here the requirements for nuclear assembly around a naked DNA template were investigated. Extracts were separated by ultracentrifugation into cytosol, membrane, and gelatinous pellet fractions. It was found that, in addition to the cytosolic and membrane fractions, a component of the gelatinous pellet fraction was required for the assembly of functional nuclei around a naked DNA template. In the absence of this component, membrane-bound but functionally inert spheres of lambda DNA were formed. Purification of the active pellet factor unexpectedly demonstrated the component to be glycogen. The assembly of functionally active nuclei, as assayed by DNA replication and nuclear transport, required that glycogen be pre-incubated with the lambda DNA and cytosol during the period of chromatin and higher order intermediate formation, before the addition of membranes. Hydrolysis of glycogen with alpha-amylase in the extract blocked nuclear formation. Upon analysis, chromatin formed in the presence of cytosol and glycogen alone appeared highly condensed, reminiscent of the nuclear assembly intermediat...Continue Reading


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