Various aspects of packaging DNA in eukaryotic cells are outlined in physical rather than biological terms. The informational and physical nature of packaging instructions encoded in DNA sequences is discussed with the emphasis on signal processing difficulties - very low signal-to-noise ratio and high degeneracy of the nucleosome positioning signal. As the author has been contributing to the field from its very onset in 1980, the review is mostly focused at the works of the author and his colleagues. The leading concept of the overview is the role of deformational properties of DNA in the nucleosome positioning. The target of the studies is to derive the DNA bendability matrix describing where along the DNA various dinucleotide elements should be positioned, to facilitate its bending in the nucleosome. Three different approaches are described leading to derivation of the DNA deformability sequence pattern, which is a simplified linear presentation of the bendability matrix. All three approaches converge to the same unique sequence motif CGRAAATTTYCG or, in binary form, YRRRRRYYYYYR, both representing the chromatin code. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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