What is Chromatin:

Chromatin is a complex of DNA, RNA and proteins that is present in the cell nucleus of eukaryotes in the form of a long filament. Histones are the main proteins that make up the chromatins.


Chromatin is usually divided into two categories according to their condition: eucromatin and heterochromatin.

Eucromatin: When the chromatin filaments are less condensed it means that it has active DNA, ie the cell is able to “read” the content of this genetic material.

Heterochromatin: The filaments are condensed, coiled together in a tangle. In this case, the DNA is inactive because cells at that time are unable to encode the condensed genetic material.

It is possible to differentiate eucromatin and heterochromatin in the laboratory by color. When a special colorant is applied, zones with a more intense shade signify an accumulation of chromatin, ie heterochromatin. The lighter the region, in turn, means where the chromatin is less condensed (eucromatin).

See also: meaning of DNA and RNA.

Sex Chromatin

Also known as Barr’s corpuscle , it consists of one of the X chromosomes present in mammalian females, which is condensed (inactivated). In humans, for example, females have two X chromosomes, one of which is condensed.

Males are formed by an X chromosome and a Y chromosome and in this case have no sexual chromatin – except for people with Klinefelter Syndrome.

Chromatin accessibility

Chromatin accessibility measure directly the effects of chromatin structure changes on gene transcription. It is the degree to which the nuclear macromolecules physically contact chromatinized DNA.

Chromatin and Chromosome

The difference is that the chromatin filament is in the nucleus of the interphase cell, that is, it is not in division. From the moment the cell begins its process of division, the chromatin filaments coil about themselves and condense. Thus are born chromosomes.

In short, chromatin and chromosome are almost the same thing, but with different structures.

Learn more about the meaning of Chromosomes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *