The exact lengths of linker DNAs connecting adjacent nucleosomes specify the intrinsic three-dimensional structures of eukaryotic chromatin fibers. Some studies suggest that linker DNA lengths preferentially occur at certain quantized values, differing one from another by integral multiples of the DNA helical repeat, ∼10 bp; however, studies in the literature are inconsistent. Here, we investigate linker DNA length distributions in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, using two novel methods: a Fourier analysis of genomic dinucleotide periodicities adjacent to experimentally mapped nucleosomes and a duration hidden Markov model applied to experimentally defined dinucleosomes. Both methods reveal that linker DNA lengths in yeast are preferentially periodic at the DNA helical repeat (∼10 bp), obeying the forms 10n+5 bp (integer n). This 10 bp periodicity implies an ordered superhelical intrinsic structure for the average chromatin fiber in yeast.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Molecular Biology
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Computational Theory and Mathematics