Chromatin structure in situ: the contribution of DNA ultrastructural cytochemistry

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M. Derenzini *
A. L. Olins
D. E. Olins
(*) Corresponding Author:
M. Derenzini |


Ultrastructural studies conducted in situ using conventional transmission electron microscopy have had relatively little impact on defining the structural organization of chromatin. This is due to the fact that in routine transmission electron microscopy, together with the deoxyribonucleoprotein, many different intermingled substances are contrasted, masking the ultrastructure of chromatin. By selective staining of DNA in thin sections, using the Feulgen-like osmium-ammine reaction, these drawbacks have been overcome and worthwhile data have been obtained both on the gross morphology and the ultrastructural-functional organization of chromatin in situ. In the present study these results are reviewed and discussed in light of recent achievements in both interphase nuclear chromatin compartmentalization in interphase nuclei and in the structural organization of chromatin fibers in transcriptionally active and inactive chromatin.

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