Specific polyanions release DNA template restrictions for DNA synthesis in isolated rat liver nuclei. The degree to which DNA synthesis is enhanced can be correlated with a spectrum of changes in nuclear structure Each polyanion which is effective in the release of template restriction produces a characteristic alteration in nuclear ultrastructure. Polyanions which have no effect on DNA synthesis do not appear to cause any change in nuclear organization or ultrastructure. Parallel measurements of nuclear DNA release and nuclear volume changes also indicate that template-activating polyanions cause remarkable changes in the structural organization of the treated nuclei. These results indicate that DNA template activation involves direct interactions between polyanions and nuclear constituents and suggest the possibility that naturally occurring polyanions might have a role in the control of gene activity

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