Supercoiling Theory and Model of Chromosomal Structures in Eukaryotic Cells

2018-12-26T15:00:58Z (GMT) by Hao Zhang Tianhu Li
About six billion base pairs of DNA reside highly orderly in each human cell’s nucleus through their manifestation as twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Delicate patterns of spatial organizations of DNA macromolecules in these eukaryotic chromosomes as well as their associated physical driving forces have, however, not been fully understood thus far. On the basis of (1) our four recent discoveries about supercoiling properties of histone H1, nucleosomes, linker DNA and polynucleosomes and (2) well-established axioms about signs, shapes and handedness of DNA supercoils, we formulate new theories and models of eukaryotic chromosomal structures. It is our conclusion that three-dimensional structures of eukaryotic chromosomes and their sublevel architectures are govern mainly by negative supercoils that are present in their naked linker DNA regions.