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Nucleus. 2016;7(1):27-33. doi: 10.1080/19491034.2016.1139272. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Exploring chromatin organization mechanisms through its dynamic properties.

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a Physics Department and Nanotechnology Institute , Bar Ilan University , Ramat Gan , Israel.
b The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and Nanotechnology Institute, Bar Ilan University , Ramat Gan , Israel.
c Faculty of Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute, Bar Ilan University , Ramat Gan , Israel.
d Institut Curie, PSL Research University , CNRS, UMR 3125, INSERM, U 934, Paris , France.


The organization of the genome in the nucleus is believed to be crucial for different cellular functions. It is known that chromosomes fold into distinct territories, but little is known about the mechanisms that maintain these territories. To explore these mechanisms, we used various live-cell imaging methods, including single particle tracking to characterize the diffusion properties of different genomic regions in live cells. Chromatin diffusion is found to be slow and anomalous; in vast contrast, depletion of lamin A protein significantly increases chromatin motion, and the diffusion pattern of chromatin transforms from slow anomalous to fast normal. More than this, depletion of lamin A protein also affects the dynamics of nuclear bodies. Our findings indicate that chromatin motion is mediated by lamin A and we suggest that constrained chromatin mobility allows to maintain chromosome territories. Thus, the discovery of this function of nucleoplasmic lamin A proteins sheds light on the maintenance mechanism of chromosome territories in the interphase nucleus, which ensures the proper function of the genome.


chromatin organization; diffusion; lamin A; nuclear structure; single particle tracking

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