In vitro replication through nucleosomes without histone displacement

Nature. 1990 Feb 22;343(6260):719-26. doi: 10.1038/343719a0.


A well-characterized set of proteins encoded by bacteriophage T4 replicates DNA in vitro and generates replication forks that can pass nucleosomes. The histone octamers remain associated with newly replicated DNA even in the presence of excess DNA competitor, and intact nucleosomes re-form on the two daughter DNA helices. It is concluded that nucleosomes are designed to open up transiently to allow the passage of a replication fork without histone displacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Circular / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*
  • Nucleosomes / ultrastructure
  • T-Phages / genetics*
  • T-Phages / physiology
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Virus Replication*


  • DNA, Circular
  • DNA, Viral
  • Histones
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Nucleosomes