Physical Molecular Biology Section
Department of Cell Biology & Physiology
The University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh Laboratory of Physical Molecular Biology; Sanford Leuba, Ph.D.
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Quantitative Measurements by AFM

Every point on a digital AFM image has an X, Y, and Z coordinate.  In our measurements, centers of consecutive nucleosomes in a fiber are marked by consecutive computer mouse clicks which record both X, Y position and height (Z) of the top of the nucleosomal image.  Hence it is very easy to make a large quantity of measurements very quickly of nucleosome center-to-center distances, angles formed by the intersection of lines connecting the centers of three successive nucleosomes, and the heights of nucleosomes in the fiber.  From these kinds of measurements, we have constructed histograms which often can have more than 2000 points per histogram; this establishes the strength of SFM as a quantitative tool.

Yang, G., Leuba, S. H., Bustamante, C., Zlatanova, J. and van Holde, K. Role of linker histones in extended chromatin fibre structure. Nat Struct Biol. 1(11) 761-763 1994

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