Shape analysis of the histone octamer in solution

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Science  06 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4755, pp. 1247-1249
DOI: 10.1126/science.3704649


The conformation of the histone octamer is shown to depend upon the specific salt used to solubilize it. In 2M sodium chloride the octamer is similar in size and shape to the histone component of crystallized core nucleosomes. In contrast, in 3.5M ammonium sulfate the octamer is elongated, resembling an ellipsoid with approximate dimensions of 114 by 62 by 62 angstroms. These results indicate that the elongated conformation seen in the 3.3 angstroms electron density map of the histone octamer crystallized in ammonium sulfate is due to the particular salt conditions used.