Measuring Nucleosome Assembly Activity with the Nucleosome Assembly and Quantification (NAQ) Assay

Francesca Mattiroli, Yajie Gu, Karolin Luger

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Nucleosomes organize the eukaryotic genome into chromatin. In cells, nucleosome assembly relies on the activity of histone chaperones, proteins with high binding affinity to histones. At least a subset of histone chaperones promotes histone deposition in vivo. However, it has been challenging to characterize this activity, due to the lack of quantitative assays. Here we developed a quantitative nucleosome assembly (NAQ) assay to measure the amount of nucleosome formation in vitro. This assay relies on a Micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion step that yields DNA fragments protected by the deposited histone proteins. A subsequent run on the Bioanalyzer machine allows the accurate quantification of the fragments (length and amount), relative to a loading control. This allows us to measure nucleosome formation by following the signature DNA length of ~150 bp. This assay finally enables the characterization of the nucleosome assembly activity of different histone chaperones, a step forward in the understanding of the functional roles of these proteins in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2018


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