Two different methods have been described to investigate whether any specific DNA sequences are intimately associated with the metaphase chromosome scaffold. The chromosome scaffold, prepared by dehistonization of chromosomes with 2 M NaCl, is a nonhistone protein complex to which many looped DNA molecules are attached (Laemmli et al., 1977, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 42:351--360). Chromosome scaffold DNA was prepared from dehistonized chicken MSB chromosomes by restriction endonuclease EcoRI digestion followed by removal of the looped DNA by sucrose gradient sedimentation. Alternatively, the scaffold DNA was prepared from micrococcal nuclease-digested intact chromosomes using sucrose gradients containing 2M NaCl. Solution hybridization of the radioactively labeled scaffold DNA with a large excess of total nuclear DNA revealed that, in either case, the scaffold DNA is not a unique sequence class of genomic DNA. Southern-blotting hybridization also showed that the scaffold DNA prepared from EcoRI-digested dehistonized chromosomes was not enriched (or depleted) in the ovalbumin gene sequences. The possibility of a dynamic interaction of protein and DNA in the chromosome scaffold and the possibility that the scaffold is a preparative artifact are discussed.

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