Electron-microscopy of intact nuclear DNA from human cells.
McCready SJ., Akrigg A., Cook PR.
Structures retaining many of the morphological features of nuclei may be released by lysing human cells in a non-ionic detergent and 2 M NaCl. Such nucleoids contain all the nuclear DNA packaged within a flexible cage of RNA and protein. HeLa nucleoids have been spread at an air-water interface and viewed in the electron microscope. A tangled network of superhelical fibres surrounds the collapsed cage. Irradiation with gamma-rays abolishes supercoiling and treatment with the untwisting enzyme or a low concentration of ethidium reduces it. A high concentration of ethidium induces supertwisting. The nuclear DNA of higher cells can be isolated naked, supercoiled and intact.