Phosphorylases are enzymes that catalyze the addition of a phosphate group from an inorganic phosphate to an acceptor. A-B + P ⇌ A + P-BThey include allosteric enzymes that catalyze the production of glucose-1-phosphate from a glucan such as glycogen, starch or maltodextrin. Phosphorylase is a common name used for glycogen phosphorylase in honor of Earl W. Sutherland Jr. who in the late 1930s discovered the first phosphorylase. Phosphorylases should not be confused with phosphatases. In more general terms, phosphorylases are enzymes that catalyze the addition of a phosphate group from an inorganic phosphate to an acceptor, not to be confused with a phosphatase or a kinase. A phosphatase removes a phosphate group from a donor using water, whereas a kinase transfers a phosphate group from a donor to an acceptor; the phosphorylases fall into the following categories: Glycosyltransferases Enzymes that break down glucans by removing a glucose residue glycogen phosphorylase starch phosphorylase maltodextrin phosphorylase Enzymes that break down nucleosides into their constituent bases and sugars Purine nucleoside phosphorylase Nucleotidyltransferases Enzymes that have phosphorolytic 3' to 5' exoribonuclease activity RNase PH Polynucleotide Phosphorylase All known phosphorylases share catalytic and structural properties.
Phosphorylase a is the more active R form of glycogen phosphorylase, derived from the phosphorylation of the less active R form, phosphorylase b with associated AMP. The inactive T form is either phosphorylated by phosphoylase kinase and inhibited by glucose, or dephosphorylated by phosphoprotein phosphatase with inhibition by ATP and/or glucose 6-phosphate. Phosphorylation requires dephosphorylation releases free inorganic phosphate ions; some disorders are related to phosphorylases: Glycogen storage disease type V - muscle glycogen Glycogen storage disease type VI - liver glycogen Hydrolase Muscle phosphorylase deficiency - McArdle's Disease Website Phosphorylases at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings
Enzymes are macromolecular biological catalysts. Enzymes accelerate chemical reactions; the molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrates and the enzyme converts the substrates into different molecules known as products. All metabolic processes in the cell need enzyme catalysis in order to occur at rates fast enough to sustain life. Metabolic pathways depend upon enzymes to catalyze individual steps; the study of enzymes is called enzymology and a new field of pseudoenzyme analysis has grown up, recognising that during evolution, some enzymes have lost the ability to carry out biological catalysis, reflected in their amino acid sequences and unusual'pseudocatalytic' properties. Enzymes are known to catalyze more than 5,000 biochemical reaction types. Most enzymes are proteins; the latter are called ribozymes. Enzymes' specificity comes from their unique three-dimensional structures. Like all catalysts, enzymes increase the reaction rate by lowering its activation energy; some enzymes can make their conversion of substrate to product occur many millions of times faster.
An extreme example is orotidine 5'-phosphate decarboxylase, which allows a reaction that would otherwise take millions of years to occur in milliseconds. Chemically, enzymes are like any catalyst and are not consumed in chemical reactions, nor do they alter the equilibrium of a reaction. Enzymes differ from most other catalysts by being much more specific. Enzyme activity can be affected by other molecules: inhibitors are molecules that decrease enzyme activity, activators are molecules that increase activity. Many therapeutic drugs and poisons are enzyme inhibitors. An enzyme's activity decreases markedly outside its optimal temperature and pH, many enzymes are denatured when exposed to excessive heat, losing their structure and catalytic properties; some enzymes are used commercially, in the synthesis of antibiotics. Some household products use enzymes to speed up chemical reactions: enzymes in biological washing powders break down protein, starch or fat stains on clothes, enzymes in meat tenderizer break down proteins into smaller molecules, making the meat easier to chew.
By the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the digestion of meat by stomach secretions and the conversion of starch to sugars by plant extracts and saliva were known but the mechanisms by which these occurred had not been identified. French chemist Anselme Payen was the first to discover an enzyme, diastase, in 1833. A few decades when studying the fermentation of sugar to alcohol by yeast, Louis Pasteur concluded that this fermentation was caused by a vital force contained within the yeast cells called "ferments", which were thought to function only within living organisms, he wrote that "alcoholic fermentation is an act correlated with the life and organization of the yeast cells, not with the death or putrefaction of the cells."In 1877, German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne first used the term enzyme, which comes from Greek ἔνζυμον, "leavened" or "in yeast", to describe this process. The word enzyme was used to refer to nonliving substances such as pepsin, the word ferment was used to refer to chemical activity produced by living organisms.
Eduard Buchner submitted his first paper on the study of yeast extracts in 1897. In a series of experiments at the University of Berlin, he found that sugar was fermented by yeast extracts when there were no living yeast cells in the mixture, he named the enzyme that brought about the fermentation of sucrose "zymase". In 1907, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "his discovery of cell-free fermentation". Following Buchner's example, enzymes are named according to the reaction they carry out: the suffix -ase is combined with the name of the substrate or to the type of reaction; the biochemical identity of enzymes was still unknown in the early 1900s. Many scientists observed that enzymatic activity was associated with proteins, but others argued that proteins were carriers for the true enzymes and that proteins per se were incapable of catalysis. In 1926, James B. Sumner crystallized it; the conclusion that pure proteins can be enzymes was definitively demonstrated by John Howard Northrop and Wendell Meredith Stanley, who worked on the digestive enzymes pepsin and chymotrypsin.
These three scientists were awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The discovery that enzymes could be crystallized allowed their structures to be solved by x-ray crystallography; this was first done for lysozyme, an enzyme found in tears and egg whites that digests the coating of some bacteria. This high-resolution structure of lysozyme marked the beginning of the field of structural biology and the effort to understand how enzymes work at an atomic level of detail. An enzyme's name is derived from its substrate or the chemical reaction it catalyzes, with the word ending in -ase. Examples are alcohol dehydrogenase and DNA polymerase. Different enzymes that catalyze the same chemical reaction are called isozymes; the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have developed a nomenclature for enzymes, the EC numbers. The first number broadly classifies the enzyme based on its mechanism; the top-level classification is: EC 1, Oxidoreductases: catalyze oxidation/reducti
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein by promoting the absorption of carbohydrates glucose from the blood into liver and skeletal muscle cells. In these tissues the absorbed glucose is converted into either glycogen via glycogenesis or fats via lipogenesis, or, in the case of the liver, into both. Glucose production and secretion by the liver is inhibited by high concentrations of insulin in the blood. Circulating insulin affects the synthesis of proteins in a wide variety of tissues, it is therefore an anabolic hormone, promoting the conversion of small molecules in the blood into large molecules inside the cells. Low insulin levels in the blood have the opposite effect by promoting widespread catabolism of reserve body fat. Beta cells are sensitive to glucose concentrations known as blood sugar levels; when the glucose level is high, the beta cells secrete insulin into the blood. Their neighboring alpha cells, by taking their cues from the beta cells, secrete glucagon into the blood in the opposite manner: increased secretion when blood glucose is low, decreased secretion when glucose concentrations are high.
Glucagon, through stimulating the liver to release glucose by glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, has the opposite effect of insulin. The secretion of insulin and glucagon into the blood in response to the blood glucose concentration is the primary mechanism of glucose homeostasis. If beta cells are destroyed by an autoimmune reaction, insulin can no longer be synthesized or be secreted into the blood; this results in type 1 diabetes mellitus, characterized by abnormally high blood glucose concentrations, generalized body wasting. In type 2 diabetes mellitus the destruction of beta cells is less pronounced than in type 1 diabetes, is not due to an autoimmune process. Instead there is an accumulation of amyloid in the pancreatic islets, which disrupts their anatomy and physiology; the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes is not well understood but patients exhibit a reduced population of islet beta-cells, reduced secretory function of islet beta-cells that survive, peripheral tissue insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high rates of glucagon secretion into the blood which are unaffected by, unresponsive to the concentration of glucose in the blood. Insulin is still secreted into the blood in response to the blood glucose; as a result, the insulin levels when the blood sugar level is normal, are much higher than they are in healthy persons. The human insulin protein is composed of 51 amino acids, has a molecular mass of 5808 Da, it is a dimer of a B-chain, which are linked together by disulfide bonds. Insulin's structure varies between species of animals. Insulin from animal sources differs somewhat in effectiveness from human insulin because of these variations. Porcine insulin is close to the human version, was used to treat type 1 diabetics before human insulin could be produced in large quantities by recombinant DNA technologies; the crystal structure of insulin in the solid state was determined by Dorothy Hodgkin. It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.
Insulin may have originated more than a billion years ago. The molecular origins of insulin go at least as far back. Apart from animals, insulin-like proteins are known to exist in the Fungi and Protista kingdoms. Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets in most vertebrates and by the Brockmann body in some teleost fish. Cone snails Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, venomous sea snails that hunt small fish, use modified forms of insulin in their venom cocktails; the insulin toxin, closer in structure to fishes' than to snails' native insulin, slows down the prey fishes by lowering their blood glucose levels. The preproinsulin precursor of insulin is encoded by the INS gene. A variety of mutant alleles with changes in the coding region have been identified. A read-through gene, INS-IGF2, overlaps with this gene at the 5' region and with the IGF2 gene at the 3' region. In the pancreatic β cells, glucose is the primary physiological stimulus for the regulation of insulin synthesis.
Insulin is regulated through the transcription factors PDX1, NeuroD1, MafA. PDX1 is in the nuclear periphery upon low blood glucose levels interacting with corepressors HDAC1 and 2, downregulating the insulin secretion. An increase in blood glucose levels causes phosphorylation of PDX1 and it translocates centrally and binds the A3 element within the insulin promoter. Upon translocation it interacts with coactivators HAT p300 and acetyltransferase set 7/9. PDX1 affects the histone modifications through deacetylation as well as methylation, it is said to suppress glucagon. NeuroD1 known as β2, regulates insulin exocytosis in pancreatic β cells by directly inducing the expression of genes involved in exocytosis, it is localized in the cytosol, but in response to high glucose it becomes glycosylated by OGT and/or phosphorylated by ERK, which causes translocation to the nucleus. In the nucleus β2 heterodimerizes with E47, binds to the E1 element of the insulin promoter and recruits co-activator p300 which acetylates β2.
It is able to interact with other transcription factors as well in activation of the insulin gene. MafA is degraded by proteasomes upon low blood glucose levels
Glycogen is a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in animals and bacteria. The polysaccharide structure represents the main storage form of glucose in the body. Glycogen functions as one of two forms of long-term energy reserves, with the other form being triglyceride stores in adipose tissue. In humans, glycogen is made and stored in the cells of the liver and skeletal muscle. In the liver, glycogen can make up 5–6% of the organ's fresh weight, the liver of an adult weighing 70 kg can store 100–120 grams of glycogen. In skeletal muscle, glycogen is found in a low concentration and the skeletal muscle of an adult weighing 70 kg stores 400 grams of glycogen; the amount of glycogen stored in the body—particularly within the muscles and liver—mostly depends on physical training, basal metabolic rate, eating habits. Small amounts of glycogen are found in other tissues and cells, including the kidneys, red blood cells, white blood cells, glial cells in the brain.
The uterus stores glycogen during pregnancy to nourish the embryo. 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of humans at all times. Glycogen stores in skeletal muscle serve as a form of energy storage for the muscle itself. Liver glycogen stores serve as a store of glucose for use throughout the body the central nervous system; the human brain consumes 60% of blood glucose in fasted, sedentary individuals. Glycogen is the analogue of starch, a glucose polymer that functions as energy storage in plants, it is more extensively branched and compact than starch. Both are white powders in their dry state. Glycogen is found in the form of granules in the cytosol/cytoplasm in many cell types, plays an important role in the glucose cycle. Glycogen forms an energy reserve that can be mobilized to meet a sudden need for glucose, but one, less compact than the energy reserves of triglycerides; as such it is found as storage reserve in many parasitic protozoa. Glycogen is a branched biopolymer consisting of linear chains of glucose residues with an average chain length of 8–12 glucose units.
Glucose units are linked together linearly by α glycosidic bonds from one glucose to the next. Branches are linked to the chains from which they are branching off by α glycosidic bonds between the first glucose of the new branch and a glucose on the stem chain. Due to the way glycogen is synthesised, every glycogen granule has at its core a glycogenin protein. Glycogen in muscle and fat cells is stored in a hydrated form, composed of three or four parts of water per part of glycogen associated with 0.45 millimoles of potassium per gram of glycogen. Glucose is an osmotic molecule, can have profound effects on osmotic pressure in high concentrations leading to cell damage or death if stored in the cell without being modified. Glycogen is a non-osmotic molecule, so it can be used as a solution to storing glucose in the cell without disrupting osmotic pressure; as a meal containing carbohydrates or protein is eaten and digested, blood glucose levels rise, the pancreas secretes insulin. Blood glucose from the portal vein enters liver cells.
Insulin acts on the hepatocytes to stimulate the action of several enzymes, including glycogen synthase. Glucose molecules are added to the chains of glycogen as long as both insulin and glucose remain plentiful. In this postprandial or "fed" state, the liver takes in more glucose from the blood than it releases. After a meal has been digested and glucose levels begin to fall, insulin secretion is reduced, glycogen synthesis stops; when it is needed for energy, glycogen is converted again to glucose. Glycogen phosphorylase is the primary enzyme of glycogen breakdown. For the next 8–12 hours, glucose derived from liver glycogen is the primary source of blood glucose used by the rest of the body for fuel. Glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas, in many respects serves as a countersignal to insulin. In response to insulin levels being below normal, glucagon is secreted in increasing amounts and stimulates both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. Muscle cell glycogen appears to function as an immediate reserve source of available glucose for muscle cells.
Other cells that contain small amounts use it as well. As muscle cells lack glucose-6-phosphatase, required to pass glucose into the blood, the glycogen they store is available for internal use and is not shared with other cells; this is in contrast to liver cells, which, on demand do break down their stored glycogen into glucose and send it through the blood stream as fuel for other organs. Glycogen was discovered by Claude Bernard, his experiments showed that the liver contained a substance that could give rise to reducing sugar by the action of a "ferment" in the liver. By 1857, he described the isolation of a substance he called "la matière glycogène", or "sugar-forming substance". Soon after the discovery of glycogen in the liver, A. Sanson found that muscular tissue contains glycogen; the empirical formula for glycogen of n was established by Kekulé in 1858. Glycogen synthesis is, unlike its breakdown, endergonic
A base pair is a unit consisting of two nucleobases bound to each other by hydrogen bonds. They form the building blocks of the DNA double helix and contribute to the folded structure of both DNA and RNA. Dictated by specific hydrogen bonding patterns, Watson–Crick base pairs allow the DNA helix to maintain a regular helical structure, subtly dependent on its nucleotide sequence; the complementary nature of this based-paired structure provides a redundant copy of the genetic information encoded within each strand of DNA. The regular structure and data redundancy provided by the DNA double helix make DNA well suited to the storage of genetic information, while base-pairing between DNA and incoming nucleotides provides the mechanism through which DNA polymerase replicates DNA and RNA polymerase transcribes DNA into RNA. Many DNA-binding proteins can recognize specific base-pairing patterns that identify particular regulatory regions of genes. Intramolecular base pairs can occur within single-stranded nucleic acids.
This is important in RNA molecules, where Watson–Crick base pairs permit the formation of short double-stranded helices, a wide variety of non-Watson–Crick interactions allow RNAs to fold into a vast range of specific three-dimensional structures. In addition, base-pairing between transfer RNA and messenger RNA forms the basis for the molecular recognition events that result in the nucleotide sequence of mRNA becoming translated into the amino acid sequence of proteins via the genetic code; the size of an individual gene or an organism's entire genome is measured in base pairs because DNA is double-stranded. Hence, the number of total base pairs is equal to the number of nucleotides in one of the strands; the haploid human genome is estimated to be about 3.2 billion bases long and to contain 20,000–25,000 distinct protein-coding genes. A kilobase is a unit of measurement in molecular biology equal to 1000 base pairs of DNA or RNA; the total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0×1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes.
In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. Hydrogen bonding is the chemical interaction. Appropriate geometrical correspondence of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors allows only the "right" pairs to form stably. DNA with high GC-content is more stable than DNA with low GC-content. But, contrary to popular belief, the hydrogen bonds do not stabilize the DNA significantly; the larger nucleobases and guanine, are members of a class of double-ringed chemical structures called purines. Purines are complementary only with pyrimidines: pyrimidine-pyrimidine pairings are energetically unfavorable because the molecules are too far apart for hydrogen bonding to be established. Purine-pyrimidine base-pairing of AT or GC or UA results in proper duplex structure; the only other purine-pyrimidine pairings would be AC and GT and UG. The GU pairing, with two hydrogen bonds, does occur often in RNA. Paired DNA and RNA molecules are comparatively stable at room temperature, but the two nucleotide strands will separate above a melting point, determined by the length of the molecules, the extent of mispairing, the GC content.
Higher GC content results in higher melting temperatures. On the converse, regions of a genome that need to separate — for example, the promoter regions for often-transcribed genes — are comparatively GC-poor. GC content and melting temperature must be taken into account when designing primers for PCR reactions; the following DNA sequences illustrate pair double-stranded patterns. By convention, the top strand is written from the 5' end to the 3' end. A base-paired DNA sequence: ATCGATTGAGCTCTAGCG TAGCTAACTCGAGATCGCThe corresponding RNA sequence, in which uracil is substituted for thymine in the RNA strand: AUCGAUUGAGCUCUAGCG UAGCUAACUCGAGAUCGC Chemical analogs of nucleotides can take the place of proper nucleotides and establish non-canonical base-pairing, leading to errors in DNA replication and DNA transcription; this is due to their isosteric chemistry. One common mutagenic base analog is 5-bromouracil, which resembles thymine but can base-pair to guanine in its enol form. Other chemicals, known as DNA intercalators, fit into the gap between adjacent bases on a single strand and induce frameshift mutations by "masquerading" as a base, causing the DNA replication machinery to skip or insert additional nucleotides at the intercalated site.
Most intercalators are known or suspected carcinogens. Examples include ethidium acridine. An unnatural base pair is a designed subunit of DNA, created in a laboratory and does not occur in nature. DNA sequences have been described which use newly created nucleobases to form a third base pair, in addition to the two ba
Protein Data Bank
The Protein Data Bank is a database for the three-dimensional structural data of large biological molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids. The data obtained by X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, or cryo-electron microscopy, submitted by biologists and biochemists from around the world, are accessible on the Internet via the websites of its member organisations; the PDB is overseen by an organization called the Worldwide Protein Data Bank, wwPDB. The PDB is a key in areas such as structural genomics. Most major scientific journals, some funding agencies, now require scientists to submit their structure data to the PDB. Many other databases use protein structures deposited in the PDB. For example, SCOP and CATH classify protein structures, while PDBsum provides a graphic overview of PDB entries using information from other sources, such as Gene ontology. Two forces converged to initiate the PDB: 1) a small but growing collection of sets of protein structure data determined by X-ray diffraction.
In 1969, with the sponsorship of Walter Hamilton at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Edgar Meyer began to write software to store atomic coordinate files in a common format to make them available for geometric and graphical evaluation. By 1971, one of Meyer's programs, SEARCH, enabled researchers to remotely access information from the database to study protein structures offline. SEARCH was instrumental in enabling networking, thus marking the functional beginning of the PDB; the Protein Data Bank was announced in October 1971 in Nature New Biology as a joint venture between Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, UK and Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA. Upon Hamilton's death in 1973, Tom Koeztle took over direction of the PDB for the subsequent 20 years. In January 1994, Joel Sussman of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science was appointed head of the PDB. In October 1998, the PDB was transferred to the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics; the new director was Helen M. Berman of Rutgers University.
In 2003, with the formation of the wwPDB, the PDB became an international organization. The founding members are PDBe, RCSB, PDBj; the BMRB joined in 2006. Each of the four members of wwPDB can act as deposition, data processing and distribution centers for PDB data; the data processing refers to the fact that annotate each submitted entry. The data are automatically checked for plausibility; the PDB database is updated weekly. The PDB holdings list is updated weekly; as of 17 October 2018, the breakdown of current holdings is as follows: 120,052 structures in the PDB have a structure factor file. 9,734 structures have an NMR restraint file. 3,486 structures in the PDB have a chemical shifts file. 2,531 structures in the PDB have a 3DEM map file deposited in EM Data BankThese data show that most structures are determined by X-ray diffraction, but about 10% of structures are now determined by protein NMR. When using X-ray diffraction, approximations of the coordinates of the atoms of the protein are obtained, whereas estimations of the distances between pairs of atoms of the protein are found through NMR experiments.
Therefore, the final conformation of the protein is obtained, in the latter case, by solving a distance geometry problem. A few proteins are determined by cryo-electron microscopy; the significance of the structure factor files, mentioned above, is that, for PDB structures determined by X-ray diffraction that have a structure file, the electron density map may be viewed. The data of such structures is stored on the "electron density server". In the past, the number of structures in the PDB has grown at an exponential rate, passing the 100 registered structures milestone in 1982, the 1,000 in 1993, the 10,000 in 1999, the 100,000 in 2014. However, since 2007, the rate of accumulation of new protein structures appears to have plateaued; the file format used by the PDB was called the PDB file format. This original format was restricted by the width of computer punch cards to 80 characters per line. Around 1996, the "macromolecular Crystallographic Information file" format, mmCIF, an extension of the CIF format started to be phased in.
MmCIF is now the master format for the PDB archive. An XML version of this format, called PDBML, was described in 2005; the structure files can be downloaded in any of these three formats. In fact, individual files are downloaded into graphics packages using web addresses: For PDB format files, use, e.g. http://www.pdb.org/pdb/files/4hhb.pdb.gz or http://pdbe.org/download/4hhb For PDBML files, use, e.g. http://www.pdb.org/pdb/files/4hhb.xml.gz or http://pdbe.org/pdbml/4hhbThe "4hhb" is the PDB identifier. Each structure published in PDB receives a four-character alphanumeric identifier, its PDB ID; the structure files may be viewed using one of several free and open source computer programs, including Jmol, Pymol, VMD, Rasmol. Other non-free, shareware programs
A chromosome is a deoxyribonucleic acid molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins which, aided by chaperone proteins, bind to and condense the DNA molecule to prevent it from becoming an unmanageable tangle. Chromosomes are visible under a light microscope only when the cell is undergoing the metaphase of cell division. Before this happens, every chromosome is copied once, the copy is joined to the original by a centromere, resulting either in an X-shaped structure if the centromere is located in the middle of the chromosome or a two-arm structure if the centromere is located near one of the ends; the original chromosome and the copy are now called sister chromatids. During metaphase the X-shape structure is called a metaphase chromosome. In this condensed form chromosomes are easiest to distinguish and study. In animal cells, chromosomes reach their highest compaction level in anaphase during chromosome segregation.
Chromosomal recombination during meiosis and subsequent sexual reproduction play a significant role in genetic diversity. If these structures are manipulated incorrectly, through processes known as chromosomal instability and translocation, the cell may undergo mitotic catastrophe; this will make the cell initiate apoptosis leading to its own death, but sometimes mutations in the cell hamper this process and thus cause progression of cancer. Some use the term chromosome in a wider sense, to refer to the individualized portions of chromatin in cells, either visible or not under light microscopy. Others use the concept in a narrower sense, to refer to the individualized portions of chromatin during cell division, visible under light microscopy due to high condensation; the word chromosome comes from the Greek χρῶμα and σῶμα, describing their strong staining by particular dyes. The term was coined by von Waldeyer-Hartz, referring to the term chromatin, introduced by Walther Flemming; some of the early karyological terms have become outdated.
For example and Chromosom, both ascribe color to a non-colored state. The German scientists Schleiden, Virchow and Bütschli were among the first scientists who recognized the structures now familiar as chromosomes. In a series of experiments beginning in the mid-1880s, Theodor Boveri gave the definitive demonstration that chromosomes are the vectors of heredity, it is the second of these principles, so original. Wilhelm Roux suggested. Boveri was able to confirm this hypothesis. Aided by the rediscovery at the start of the 1900s of Gregor Mendel's earlier work, Boveri was able to point out the connection between the rules of inheritance and the behaviour of the chromosomes. Boveri influenced two generations of American cytologists: Edmund Beecher Wilson, Nettie Stevens, Walter Sutton and Theophilus Painter were all influenced by Boveri. In his famous textbook The Cell in Development and Heredity, Wilson linked together the independent work of Boveri and Sutton by naming the chromosome theory of inheritance the Boveri–Sutton chromosome theory.
Ernst Mayr remarks that the theory was hotly contested by some famous geneticists: William Bateson, Wilhelm Johannsen, Richard Goldschmidt and T. H. Morgan, all of a rather dogmatic turn of mind. Complete proof came from chromosome maps in Morgan's own lab; the number of human chromosomes was published in 1923 by Theophilus Painter. By inspection through the microscope, he counted 24 pairs, his error was copied by others and it was not until 1956 that the true number, 46, was determined by Indonesia-born cytogeneticist Joe Hin Tjio. The prokaryotes – bacteria and archaea – have a single circular chromosome, but many variations exist; the chromosomes of most bacteria, which some authors prefer to call genophores, can range in size from only 130,000 base pairs in the endosymbiotic bacteria Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola and Candidatus Tremblaya princeps, to more than 14,000,000 base pairs in the soil-dwelling bacterium Sorangium cellulosum. Spirochaetes of the genus Borrelia are a notable exception to this arrangement, with bacteria such as Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease, containing a single linear chromosome.
Prokaryotic chromosomes have less sequence-based structure than eukaryotes. Bacteria have a one-point from which replication starts, whereas some archaea contain multiple replication origins; the genes in prokaryotes are organized in operons, do not contain introns, unlike eukaryotes. Prokaryotes do not possess nuclei. Instead, their DNA is organized into a structure called the nucleoid; the nucleoid occupies a defined region of the bacterial cell. This structure is, dynamic and is maintained and remodeled by the actions of a range of histone-like proteins, which associate with the bacterial chromosome. In archaea, the DNA in chromosomes is more organized, with the DNA packaged within structures similar to eukaryotic nucleosomes. Certain bacteria contain plasmids or other extrachromosomal DNA; these are circular structures in the cytoplasm that contain cellular DNA and play a role in horizontal gene transfer. In prokaryotes and viruses, the DNA is densely packed and organized.