Stm and afm images of nucleosome dna under water

Stuart Lindsay, L. A. Nagahara, T. Thundat, U. Knipping, R. L. Rill, B. Drake, C. B. Prater, A. L. Weisenhorn, S. A C Gould, P. K. Hansma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We have imaged DNA from the calf thymus nucleosome using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) operated in water. The fragments are deposited onto the interface between a buffer solution and an epitaxially grown gold surface using an electrochemical technique. Most of the fragments are fairly straight, and when individual polymers can be identified, their length is consistent with the expected 146 basepairs (~ 500 Å). The resolution is often adequate to show signs of the 36 Å helical pitch. Some images show a structure which appears to have abrupt kinks of the sort predicted by Crick and Klug (Nature 255, 530-533, 1975). In order to check that this shape is not a consequence of binding to underlying structure on the gold substrate, we have also made images of kinked structures using an atomic force microscope (AFM) with the DNA bound to glass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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