Twist Neutrality and the Diameter of the Nucleosome Core Particle

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    The diameter of the nucleosome core particle is the same for all the eukaryotes. Here we discuss the possibility that this selectiveness is consistent with a propensity for twist neutrality, in particular, for the double helical DNA to stay rotationally neutral when strained. Reorganization of DNA cannot be done without some level of temporal tensile stress, and as a consequence chiral molecules, such as helices, will twist under strain. The requirement that the nucleosome, constituting the nucleosome core particle and linker DNA, has a vanishing strain-twist coupling leads to a requirement for the amount of bending. For the diameter of the coiled DNA we obtain the relatively accurate numerical estimate of 2R=82 Å.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)098101-1 - 098101-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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