Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 173884
J. Virol. 1975 Jan;17(1):204-11
Nucleoprotein complexes containing viral DNA and cellular histones were extracted from nuclei of permissive cells infected with polyoma virus or simian virus 40 (SV40) and examined by electron microscopy. Polyoma and SV40 nucleoprotein complexes are almost identical. They appear as relaxed circular molecules consisting of 20 to 21 globular particles interconnected by thin filaments. Their contour length in 0.02 M salt is 2.7 times shorter than that of viral DNA form I obtained after dissociation of the proteins in 1 M NaCl. The nucleosomes have an average diameter of 12.5 nm. Each nucleosome contains 175 to 205 DNA base pairs condensed fivefold in length. The nucleosomes are regularly spaced on the circular molecule. The internucleosomal filaments are made of naked DNA, and each filament contains about 55 base pairs. The partial sensitivity of the nucleoprotein complex to cleavage by EcoR1 endonuclease suggests that the nucleosomes are not formed at specific sites on the viral genome. Faster sedimenting nucleoprotein complexes containing replicative intermediates were studied. Isopycnic centrifugation in metrizamide gradients in the absence of aldehyde fixation showed that these molecules conserved the same DNA-to-protein ratio as the form I DNA-containing complexes.