GSBS Student Publications


Mechanical disruption of individual nucleosomes reveals a reversible multistage release of DNA

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Program in Molecular Medicine; Program in Gene Function and Expression

Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The dynamic structure of individual nucleosomes was examined by stretching nucleosomal arrays with a feedback-enhanced optical trap. Forced disassembly of each nucleosome occurred in three stages. Analysis of the data using a simple worm-like chain model yields 76 bp of DNA released from the histone core at low stretching force. Subsequently, 80 bp are released at higher forces in two stages: full extension of DNA with histones bound, followed by detachment of histones. When arrays were relaxed before the dissociated state was reached, nucleosomes were able to reassemble and to repeat the disassembly process. The kinetic parameters for nucleosome disassembly also have been determined.

DOI of Published Version



Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1960-5. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID