A technique for isolating whole chromatin from nuclei of the lower eukaryote Euglena gracilis is presented. This chromatin, which appears under the electron microscope as uniformly condensed fibers, can, nevertheless, be subfractionated into distinct heterochromatic and euchromatic fractions. The euchromatin, comprising about 14% of the total DNA of the nucleus, contains over 80 % of the total endogenous RNA polymerase activity measured. The Km for this enzyme is higher than that found for prokaryotes, but falls in the range found for other eukaryotes. Stability constants, calculated from cation-chromatin binding data, suggest that internal carboxyl groups of chromosomal proteins, at least, are involved in the condensation of Euglena chromatin. The relationship between Euglena chromatin and that of higher eukaryotes is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology