DNA in the Nucleus
Country: United States
Date: May 2005
How does DNA fit into the nucleus of a cell?
As your question implies, if the DNA in one of your cells was stretched out,
it would be over 3 feet long. The DNA is coiled around histone protein
complexes called nucleosomes which effectively decreases the length of the
DNA molecules (analogous to a slinky toy). The histone proteins are
positively charged due to the amino acids lysine and arginine and the DNA is
negatively charged due to the phosphate groups.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012