Human DNA ligase I efficiently seals nicks in nucleosomes

D. R. Chafin, J. M. Vitolo, L. A. Henricksen, R. A. Bambara, J. J. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The access to DNA within nucleosomes is greatly restricted for most enzymes and trans-acting factors that bind DNA. We report here that human DNA ligase I, which carries out the final step of Okazaki fragment processing and of many DNA repair pathways, can access DNA that is wrapped about the surface of a nucleosome in vitro and carry out its enzymatic function with high efficiency. In addition, we find that ligase activity is not affected by the binding of linker histone (H1) but is greatly influenced by the disposition of the core histone tail domains. These results suggest that the window of opportunity for human DNA ligase I may extend well beyond the first stages of chromatin reassembly after DNA replication or repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5492-5501
Number of pages10
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 16 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromatin
  • Gene regulation
  • Human DNA ligase
  • Nucleosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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