The Structure and Function of Chromatin
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About The Structure and Function of Chromatin

Chromatin is a complex of macromolecules composed of DNA, RNA, and protein, which is found inside the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Chromatin exists in two forms: heterochromatin (condensed) and euchromatin (extended). The primary protein components of chromatin are histones that help to organize DNA into “bead-like” structures called nucleosomes by providing a base on which the DNA can be wrapped around. A nucleosome consists of 147 base pairs of DNA that is wrapped around a set of 8 histones called an octomer. The nucleosome can be further folded to produce the chromatin fiber. Chromatin fibers are coiled and condensed to form chromosomes. Chromatin makes it possible for a number of cell processes to occur including DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair, genetic recombination, and cell division.

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