Heterochromatin is a superstructural form of chromatin consisting of nucleosome units wound into a chromatin fibre which then forms loops along a central axis.
It is found within 3 locations in the cell:
- outskirts of nucleus, near nucleolar membrane
- randomly sited masses throughout the nucleus termed karyosomes
- nucleolar heterochromatin
Heterochromatin, with its inhibition of DNA unravelling within its structure, is associated with a less metabolically-active cell.
It binds basic dyes.
Last reviewed 01/2018