PMID: 32374876
Soman A, Liew CW, Teo HL, Berezhnoy NV, Olieric V, Korolev N, Rhodes D, Nordenskiold L
The human telomeric nucleosome displays distinct structural and dynamic properties.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jun 4;48(10):5383-5396. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa289.
Telomeres protect the ends of our chromosomes and are key to maintaining genomic integrity during cell division and differentiation. However, our knowledge of telomeric chromatin and nucleosome structure at the molecular level is limited. Here, we aimed to define the structure, dynamics as well as properties in solution of the human telomeric nucleosome. We first determined the 2.2 A crystal structure of a human telomeric nucleosome core particle (NCP) containing 145 bp DNA, which revealed the same helical path for the DNA as well as symmetric stretching in both halves of the NCP as that of the 145 bp '601' NCP. In solution, the telomeric nucleosome exhibited a less stable and a markedly more dynamic structure compared to NCPs containing DNA positioning sequences. These observations provide molecular insights into how telomeric DNA forms nucleosomes and chromatin and advance our understanding of the unique biological role of telomeres.