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Epichromatin is identified by immunostaining fixed and permeabilized cells with particular bivalent anti-nucleosome antibodies (mAbs PL2-6 and 1H6). During interphase, epichromatin resides adjacent to the inner nuclear membrane; during mitosis, at the outer surface of mitotic chromosomes. By STED (stimulated emission depletion) microscopy, PL2-6 stained interphase epichromatin is ∼76 nm thick and quite uniform; mitotic epichromatin is more variable in thickness, exhibiting a “wrinkled” surface with an average thickness of ∼78 nm. Co-immunostaining with anti-Ki-67 demonstrates Ki-67 deposition between the PL2-6 “ridges” of mitotic epichromatin. Monovalent papain-derived Fab fragments of PL2-6 yield a strikingly different punctate “chromomeric” immunostaining pattern throughout interphase nuclei and along mitotic chromosome arms. Evidence from electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and from analytical ultracentrifugation characterize the Fab/mononucleosome complex, supporting the concept that there are two binding sites per nucleosome. The peptide sequence of the Hv3 region (heavy chain variable region 3) of the PL2-6 antibody binding site strongly resembles other nucleosome acidic patch binding proteins (especially, LANA and CENPC), supporting that the nucleosome acidic patch is included within the epichromatin epitope. It is speculated that the interphase epichromatin epitope is “exposed” with favorable geometric arrangements for binding bivalent PL2-6 at the surface chromatin; whereas, the epitope is “hidden” within internal chromatin. Furthermore, it is suggested that the “exposed” nucleosome surface of mitotic epichromatin may play a role in post-mitotic nuclear envelope reformation.


Article originally published by Taylor & Francis Group in Nucleus on 29/09/17, available online:

Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis

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