Eukaryotic chromosomal DNA coils around histones to form nucleosomes. Although histone affinity for DNA depends on DNA sequence patterns, how nucleosome positioning is determined by them remains unknown. Here, we show relationships between nucleosome positioning and two structural characteristics of DNA conferred by DNA sequence. Analysis of bendability and hydroxyl radical cleavage intensity of nucleosomal DNA sequences indicated that nucleosomal DNA is bendable and fragile and that nucleosome positional stability was correlated with characteristics of DNA. This result explains how histone positioning is partially determined by nucleosomal DNA structure, illuminating the optimization of chromosomal DNA packaging that controls cellular dynamics.
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