Chromatin is the structure that the eukaryotic genome is packaged into, allowing over a metre of DNA to fit into the small volume of the nucleus. It is composed of DNA and proteins, most of which are histones. This DNA-protein complex is the template for a number of essential cell processes including transcription and replication. The basic structural unit of chromatin is the nucleosome. Nucleosomes comprise around 146 base pairs of DNA wrapped in a left-handed superhelix 1.7 times around a core histone octamer. This 11nm fibre is often referred to as ‘beads on a string’. Chromatin assembly involves wrapping of DNA around histone octameres producing repetitive nucleosomal array followed by folding of chromatin fibre into solenoid-like structure and deposition of non-histone proteins.

Additional Metadata
Keywords aging, cancer, cell differentiation, chromatine, molocular biology
Promotor C.P. Verrijzer (Peter)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sponsor EC, EMC, SSCD
Persistent URL
Kheradmand Kia, S.. (2009, June 3). Chromatin Structure in Cell Differentiation, Aging and Cancer. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from