chro·ma·tin | \ˈkrō-mə-tən \

Definition of chromatin 

: a complex chiefly of DNA and histone in eukaryotic cells that is usually dispersed in the interphase nucleus and condensed into chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis and in which the nucleosome makes up its repeating subunits In eukaryotes, the DNA interacts with the histone proteins to form a tightly packed superstructure known as chromatin.— Isao Tanaka et al. — see cell illustration — compare euchromatin, heterochromatin, nucleosome

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Other Words from chromatin

chromatinic \ˌkrō-mə-ˈti-nik \ adjective

Examples of chromatin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And a new company aims to target one aspect of epigenetics — chromatin winding — to try to treat first cancer, and then other disorders. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Startup unwinds the role of chromatin to target epigenetic changes in cancer," 20 Apr. 2018 That’s because the chemical elements in chromatin don’t contain many electrons. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Salk Institute, UCSD scientists decode DNA's 3D shape," 27 July 2017 Between those boundary points, those clusters of insulating proteins, the chromatin strand can loop up and over like the ribbon in a birthday bow, allowing genetic elements distributed along the ribbon to touch and interact with one another. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "A Family’s Shared Defect Sheds Light on the Human Genome," 9 Jan. 2017 This raises another question: what determines the chromatin code? Brandon Keim, WIRED, "DNA Packaging Could Determine Cell Development," 2 July 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chromatin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chromatin

1882, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chromatin

borrowed from German Chromatin "dense part of the cell nucleus that is easily stained," from Greek chrōmat-, chrôma "color" + German -in -in entry 1

Note: Term introduced by German biologist Walther Flemming (1843-1905) in "Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Zelle und ihrer Lebenserscheinungen, Theil II," Archiv für mikroskopische Anatomie, Band 18 (1880), pp. 157-58.

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Time Traveler for chromatin

The first known use of chromatin was in 1882

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More Definitions for chromatin


chro·ma·tin | \ˈkrō-mət-ən \

Medical Definition of chromatin 

: a complex of a nucleic acid with basic proteins (as histone) in eukaryotic cells that is usually dispersed in the interphase nucleus and condensed into chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis

Other Words from chromatin

chromatinic \ˌkrō-mə-ˈtin-ik \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on chromatin Encyclopedia article about chromatin

Comments on chromatin

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