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Action of Deoxyribonuclease on Lampbrush Chromosomes


UNTIL a few years ago it was generally assumed that nucleic acids lack the diversity required of primary genetic material, and proteins alone were supposed to possess this attribute. The results of early studies of enzymic digestion of chromosomes1 appeared to support this concept, for although nucleases and pepsin were found to be unable to break chromosomes, trypsin effected complete disintegration. Darlington's theory2 of the nucleic acid ‘charging’ of chromosomes is based on the supposition that the linear integrity and genetic specificity of chromosomes is maintained by a backbone of protein, to which deoxyribonucleic acid becomes ‘attached’ at certain stages in mitotic and meiotic cycles. If such deoxyribonucleic acid acquires specificity, this is derived through association with chromosome protein.

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CALLAN, H., MACGREGOR, H. Action of Deoxyribonuclease on Lampbrush Chromosomes. Nature 181, 1479–1480 (1958).

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