Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Basic proteins were differentially extracted from the purified heads of ejaculated human sperm by successive treatment with (1) 1% Triton X-100, 1% mercaptoethanol (ME); (2) 8 M urea, 1% ME; (3) 8 M urea, 1% ME, 0.2 M NaCl; and (4) 8 M urea, 1% ME, 0.6 M NaCl. Nonhistones were extracted in the first, second, and third treatments; histones, in the second and third; and most of the protamines, in the fourth, together with DNA. Corresponding electro microscopic studies of the sperm pellets after each treatment suggest that the nucleoprotamines are discrete portions of chromatin which are organized in the form of long thick cords and oval bodies of about 400-550 Å in diameter interlinked with very thin strands of fibers about 20-50 Å thick, which could represent the naked DNA depleted of its constituent histones.
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