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Published October 1987 | Published
Journal Article Open

A nuclease-hypersensitive region forms de novo after chromosome replication


Regular nucleosome arrays in eucaryotic chromosomes are punctuated at specific locations, such as active promoters and replication origins, by apparently nucleosome-free sites, also called nuclease-hypersensitive, or exposed, regions. The -400-base pair-exposed region within simian virus 40 (SV40) chromosomes is present in approximately 20% of the chromosomes in lytically infected cells and encompasses the replication origin, transcriptional enhancer, and both late and early SV40 promoters. We report that nearly all SV40 chromosomes lacked the exposed region during replication and that newly formed chromosomes acquired the exposed region of the same degree as did bulk SV40 chromosomes within 1 h after replication. Furthermore, a much lower but significant level of exposure was detectable in late SV40 replication intermediates, indicating that formation of the exposed region could start within minutes after passage of the replication fork.

Additional Information

© 1987 by the American Society for Microbiology. Received 11 May 1987/Accepted 14 July 1987 We thank Daniel Finley and John McGrath for their comments on the manuscript and Barbara Doran for secretarial assistance. This work was supported by Public Health Service grant CA43309 to A.V. from the National Cancer Institute. M.J.S. was supported by a predoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

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