Meaning of Chromatin

What is Chromatin:

Chromatin is a substance in eukaryotic cells made up of a combination of proteins called “histones”, with DNA and RNAwhose function is to shape the chromosome so that it integrates into the nucleus of the cell.

Chromatin is modified throughout the stages of the cell cycle, generating various levels of compaction.

Histones are basic proteins made of arginine and lysine. Their function is to facilitate the compaction of DNA to integrate into the cell nucleus. This, in turn, is responsible for providing genetic information to the cell.

Thus, the first thing that chromatin does is facilitate the union of DNA with a nucleic aggregate that produces the so-called nucleosomes.

In turn, the numerous nucleosomes generate a structure known as a “string of pearls” because of the resulting shape.

At the next level of compaction, the structure is transformed into a solenoid. From there, the stages of transformation continue until reaching the form of the chromosome as we know it.


Chromatin compaction levels.

types of chromatin

There are at least two types of chromatin. Namely: heterochromatin and euchromatin.


In heterochromatin, the filaments condense and coil around each other, forming a kind of bulge. DNA remains inactive, since this condensation process does not allow it to encode genetic material.


Euchromatin, for its part, refers to the type of chromatin where condensation is less, which allows the active presence of DNA, capable of reading genetic codes under these conditions.

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