We find that the remodeling of the condensed Xenopus laevis sperm nucleus into the paternal pronucleus in egg extracts is associated with phosphorylation of the core histones H2A, H2A.X and H4, and uptake of a linker histone B4 and a HMG 2 protein. Histone B4 is required for the assembly of chromatosome structures in the pronucleus. However neither B4 nor core histone phosphorylation are required for the assembly of spaced nucleosomal arrays. We suggest that the spacing of nucleosomal arrays is determined by interaction between adjacent histone octamers under physiological assembly conditions.

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