: a compound that consists of a protein (as a histone) conjugated with a nucleic acid (as a DNA) and that is the principal constituent of the hereditary material in chromosomes
Macromolecular complex consisting of a protein linked to a nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA. The proteins that combine with DNA are generally of characteristic types called histones and protamines. The resulting nucleoproteins (deoxynucleoproteins) make up the chromosomes of living cells. Many viruses are little more than organized agglomerations of deoxynucleoproteins. Many specific RNA nucleoproteins are also known; they have diverse cellular functions.