Rat liver chromatin is organized into regions of DNA which differ in degree of susceptibility to attack by the endonucleases DNase I and DNase II. The most nuclease-sensitive portion of chromatin DNA is enriched in transcribed sequences. This fraction may be separated from the bulk of chromatin by virtue of its solubility in solutions containing 2 mM MgCl2. Both transcribed and nontranscribed regions of chromatin are organized into repeating units of DNA and histone, which appear as 100 A beads in the electron microscope. The length of DNA in the repeat unit is the same for these two classes of chromatin (198 +/- 6 base pairs in rat liver); however, the subunits of active, Mg++-soluble chromatin differ from the nucleosomes of inactive regions of chromatin in several respects. Active subunits are enriched in nascent RNA and nonhistone protein and exhibit higher sedimentation values than the corresponding subunits of inactive chromatin.