DNA binding and nuclease protection by the HMf histones from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Methanothermus fervidus.Extremophiles. 1997 May; 1(2):79-88.E
The DNA-binding and nuclease-protection properties of the HMf histones from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Methanothermus fervidus have been shown to be consistent with the formation of nucleosome-like structures (NLS). These proteins bind to DNA molecules as short as 20 bp and form complexes that protect DNA fragments from micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion that are 30 bp, approximately 60 bp and multiples of approximately 60 bp in length. The sequences of 49 of the approximately 60-bp DNA fragments protected from MNase digestion by HMfA have been determined and their intrinsic curvatures calculated. A circular permutation gel mobility-shift assay was used to determine directly the curvatures for five of these sequences. HMfA bound to intrinsically curved and noncurved DNAs, but exhibited a slight preference for the model curved DNA in binding competitions with a model noncurved DNA. The results obtained are consistent with the concept that the archaeal NLS is analogous, and possibly homologous, to the central core of the eukaryal nucleosome formed by a histone (H3 + H4)2 tetramer.