Sea urchin zygote chromatin exhibit an unfolded nucleosomal array during the first S phase

MaríA Imschenetzky, Marcia Puchi, Soraya Gutiérrez, Martín Montecino

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2 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate changes in chromatin organization associated with DNA replication during the first stages of development of the sea urchin Tetrapygus niger, we compared micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion patterns of chromatin from zygotes harvested during the first S phase and from unfertilized eggs. We observed that the majority of DNA fragments derived from MNase digested zygote nuclei were similar to or smaller than a mononucleosome, while those derived from unfertilized egg nuclei were larger (1,500 to 410 bp). This result indicates that in zygotes, where active DNA replication is occurring, the major chromatin fraction is represented as unfolded nucleosomes. In contrast, in unfertilized eggs chromatin appears to be organized into polynucleosomes. To determine if the unfolded structure of nucleosomes observed during S phase is related to the level of poly (ADP‐ribosylation) of cleavage stage (CS) histone variants, zygotes were treated with 20 mM 3‐Amino Benzamide (3 ABA) during the interval between 3 and 30 min post‐insemination (p.i.). This treatment with 3 ABA decreases the poly (ADP‐ribosylation) of CS histone variants and inhibits the first S phase in zygotes [Imschenetzky et al. (1991): J Cell Biochem 46:234–241; Imschenetzky et al. (1993): J Cell Biochem 51:198–205]. When the MNase digested patterns of chromatin from these 3 ABA treated and control zygotes were compared, we found that the unfolded structure of the nucleosomes remains unaltered by the inhibition of the poly (ADP‐ribose) synthetase with 3 ABA. This result indicates that the unfolded nucleosomal structure, particular to the chromatin of S phase zygotes, is not contemporaneous to DNA replication and is independent of the normal level of poly (ADP‐ribosylation) of CS histone variants. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • chromatin
  • DNA replication
  • early development
  • micrococcal digestion
  • sea urchins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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