The eukaryotic genome is organized within cells as chromatin. For proper information output, higher-order chromatin structures can be regulated dynamically. How such structures form and behave in various cellular processes remains unclear. Here, by combining super-resolution imaging (photoactivated localization microscopy [PALM]) and single-nucleosome tracking, we developed a nuclear imaging system to visualize the higher-order structures along with their dynamics in live mammalian cells. We demonstrated that nucleosomes form compact domains with a peak diameter of ∼160 nm and move coherently in live cells. The heterochromatin-rich regions showed more domains and less movement. With cell differentiation, the domains became more apparent, with reduced dynamics. Furthermore, various perturbation experiments indicated that they are organized by a combination of factors, including cohesin and nucleosome-nucleosome interactions. Notably, we observed the domains during mitosis, suggesting that they act as building blocks of chromosomes and may serve as information units throughout the cell cycle.

chromatin, chromatin domain, chromatin dynamics, chromosome, PALM, single-nucleosome tracking,
Molecular Cell
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nozaki, T. (Tadasu), Imai, R. (Ryosuke), Tanbo, M. (Mai), Nagashima, R. (Ryosuke), Tamura, S. (Sachiko), Tani, T. (Tomomi), … Maeshima, K. (Kazuhiro). (2017). Dynamic Organization of Chromatin Domains Revealed by Super-Resolution Live-Cell Imaging. Molecular Cell, 67(2), 282–293.e7. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2017.06.018