Self-assembled pearling structure of long duplex DNA with histone H1

Yuko Yoshikawa*, Yuri S. Velichko, Yuta Ichiba, Kenichi Yoshikawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We report that complexes of giant DNA molecules with histone H1 proteins form a pearl necklace-like structure when the complexes are prepared by natural dilution from a high-salt solution (2 Μ NaCl) to a low-salt solution (0.2 Μ and 50 mΜ NaCl). We performed real-time observations on the conformational changes of individual T4 phage DNA (166 kb) molecules in bulk solution by fluorescence microscopy. To identify H1-binding regions on individual DNA molecules, we also performed immunofluorescence microscopic observations on the DNA-H1 complex spread on a glass surface. It was found that histone H1 binds DNA in a highly co-operative manner and is accompanied by local folding of the DNA. On the basis of the experimental observations and a theoretical simulation, we propose a self-assembling mechanism for the pearling structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2593-2599
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


  • Higher-order structure
  • Histone H1
  • Long duplex DNA
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Single-molecule observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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