Physical constraints in polymer modeling of chromatin associations with the nuclear periphery at kilobase scale.
ABSTRACT: Interactions of chromatin with the nuclear lamina imposes a radial genome distribution important for nuclear functions. How physical properties of chromatin affect these interactions is unclear. We used polymer simulations to model how physical parameters of chromatin affect its interaction with the lamina. Impact of polymer stiffness is greater than stretching on its configurations at the lamina; these are manifested as trains describing extended interactions, and loops describing desorbed regions . Conferring an attraction potential leads to persistent interaction and adsorption-desorption regimes manifested by fluctuations between trains and loops. These are modulated by polymer stiffness and stretching, with a dominant impact of stiffness on resulting structural configurations. We infer that flexible euchromatin is more prone to stochastic interactions with lamins than rigid heterochromatin characterizing constitutive LADs. Our models provide insights on the physical properties of chromatin as a polymer which affect the dynamics and patterns of interactions with the nuclear lamina.
Project description:How the nuclear lamina (NL) impacts on global chromatin architecture is poorly understood. Here, we show that NL disruption in Drosophila S2 cells leads to chromatin compaction and repositioning from the nuclear envelope. This increases the chromatin density in a fraction of topologically-associating domains (TADs) enriched in active chromatin and enhances interactions between active and inactive chromatin. Importantly, upon NL disruption the NL-associated TADs become more acetylated at histone H3 and less compact, while background transcription is derepressed. Two-colour FISH confirms that a TAD becomes less compact following its release from the NL. Finally, polymer simulations show that chromatin binding to the NL can per se compact attached TADs. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a dual function of the NL in shaping the 3D genome. Attachment of TADs to the NL makes them more condensed but decreases the overall chromatin density in the nucleus by stretching interphase chromosomes.
Project description:The three-dimensional architecture of the genome affects genomic functions. Multiple genome architectures at different length scales, including chromatin loops, domains, compartments, and lamina- and nucleolus-associated regions, have been discovered. However, how these structures are arranged in the same cell and how they are mutually correlated in different cell types in mammalian tissue are largely unknown. Here, we develop Multiplexed Imaging of Nucleome Architectures that measures multiscale chromatin folding, copy numbers of numerous RNA species, and associations of numerous genomic regions with nuclear lamina, nucleoli and surface of chromosomes in the same, single cells. We apply this method in mouse fetal liver, and identify de novo cell-type-specific chromatin architectures associated with gene expression, as well as cell-type-independent principles of chromatin organization. Polymer simulation shows that both intra-chromosomal self-associating interactions and extra-chromosomal interactions are necessary to establish the observed organization. Our results illustrate a multi-faceted picture and physical principles of chromatin organization.
Project description:The nuclear lamina (NL) is a meshwork of lamins and lamin-associated proteins lining the nuclear envelope (NE). Chromatin adjoining the NL in lamina-associated domains (LADs) is densely packed and contains predominantly silent genes. However, how the NL impacts on global chromatin architecture is poorly understood. Here, we show that NL disruption in Drosophila S2 cells leads to bulk chromatin compactization and repositioning from the NE. This increases the chromatin density in the topologically-associating domains (TADs) harboring active genes, and enhances inter-TAD interactions resulting in the intermingling of active and inactive compartments. Importantly, upon NL disruption, a fraction of TADs strongly overlapping with LADs becomes less compact, whilst resident genes are derepressed. Two-color FISH confirms that a a TAD is more decompacted following its release from the NL. Finally, polymer simulations show that chromatin binding to the NL can per se compact attached TADs. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a dual function of the NL in shaping the 3D genome. Attachment of TADs to the NL makes them more condensed but decreases the overall chromatin density in the nucleus by stretching interphase chromosomes. Overall design: Hi-C analysis of chromatin spatial structure in cultured Drosophila cell line S2 upon lamin Dm0 knock-down.
Project description:Mechanical forces play critical roles in the function of living cells. However, the underlying mechanisms of how forces influence nuclear events remain elusive. Here, we show that chromatin deformation as well as force-induced transcription of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged bacterial-chromosome dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) transgene can be visualized in a living cell by using three-dimensional magnetic twisting cytometry to apply local stresses on the cell surface via an Arg-Gly-Asp-coated magnetic bead. Chromatin stretching depended on loading direction. DHFR transcription upregulation was sensitive to load direction and proportional to the magnitude of chromatin stretching. Disrupting filamentous actin or inhibiting actomyosin contraction abrogated or attenuated force-induced DHFR transcription, whereas activating endogenous contraction upregulated force-induced DHFR transcription. Our findings suggest that local stresses applied to integrins propagate from the tensed actin cytoskeleton to the LINC complex and then through lamina-chromatin interactions to directly stretch chromatin and upregulate transcription.
Project description:Progenitor cells differentiate into specialized cell types through coordinated expression of lineage-specific genes and modification of complex chromatin configurations. We demonstrate that a histone deacetylase (Hdac3) organizes heterochromatin at the nuclear lamina during cardiac progenitor lineage restriction. Specification of cardiomyocytes is associated with reorganization of peripheral heterochromatin, and independent of deacetylase activity, Hdac3 tethers peripheral heterochromatin containing lineage-relevant genes to the nuclear lamina. Deletion of Hdac3 in cardiac progenitor cells releases genomic regions from the nuclear periphery, leading to precocious cardiac gene expression and differentiation into cardiomyocytes; in contrast, restricting Hdac3 to the nuclear periphery rescues myogenesis in progenitors otherwise lacking Hdac3. Our results suggest that availability of genomic regions for activation by lineage-specific factors is regulated in part through dynamic chromatin-nuclear lamina interactions and that competence of a progenitor cell to respond to differentiation signals may depend upon coordinated movement of responding gene loci away from the nuclear periphery.
Project description:The underlying global organization of chromatin within the cell nucleus has been the focus of intense recent research. Hi-C methods have allowed for the detection of genome-wide chromatin interactions, revealing a complex large-scale organization where chromosomes tend to partition into megabase-sized "topological domains" of local chromatin interactions and intra-chromosomal contacts extends over much longer scales, in a cell-type and chromosome specific manner. Until recently, the distinct chromatin folding properties observed experimentally have been difficult to explain in a single conceptual framework. We reported that a simple polymer-physics model of chromatin, the strings and binders switch (SBS) model, succeeds in describing the full range of chromatin configurations observed in vivo. The SBS model simulates the interactions between randomly diffusing binding molecules and binding sites on a polymer chain. It explains how polymer architectural patterns can be established, how different stable conformations can be produced and how conformational changes can be reliably regulated by simple strategies, such as protein upregulation or epigenetic modifications, via fundamental thermodynamics mechanisms.
Project description:The three-dimensional architecture of the genome affects genomic functions. Multiple genome architectures at different length scales, including chromatin loops, domains, compartments, and regions associated with nuclear lamina and nucleoli, have been discovered. However, how these structures are arranged in the same cell and how they are correlated with each other in different cell types in mammalian tissue are largely unknown. Here, we developed Multiplexed Imaging of Nucleome Architectures that measures multiscale chromatin folding, copy numbers of numerous RNA species, and associations of numerous genomic regions with nuclear lamina, nucleoli and surface of chromosomes in the same, single cells. We applied this method in mouse fetal liver, and identified de novo cell-type-specific chromatin architectures associated with gene expression, as well as chromatin organization principles independent of cell type. Polymer simulation showed that both intra-chromosomal self-associating interactions and extra-chromosomal interactions are necessary to establish the observed organization. Our experiments and modeling provide a multiscale and multi-faceted picture of chromatin folding and nucleome architectures in mammalian tissue and illustrate physical principles for maintaining chromatin organization. Here we submit our bulk RNA-sequencing data on E14.5 mouse fetal liver, used in the study to validate image-based RNA profiling results. Overall design: Bulk mRNA sequencing from mouse embryonic day 14.5 fetal liver tissue
Project description:Living cells and tissues experience various complex modes of forces that are important in physiology and disease. However, how different force modes impact gene expression is elusive. Here we apply local forces of different modes via a magnetic bead bound to the integrins on a cell and quantified cell stiffness, chromatin deformation, and DHFR (dihydrofolate reductase) gene transcription. In-plane stresses result in lower cell stiffness than out-of-plane stresses that lead to bead rolling along the cell long axis (i.e., alignment of actin stress fibers) or at different angles (90° or 45°). However, chromatin stretching and ensuing DHFR gene upregulation by the in-plane mode are similar to those induced by the 45° stress mode. Disrupting stress fibers abolishes differences in cell stiffness, chromatin stretching, and DHFR gene upregulation under different force modes and inhibiting myosin II decreases cell stiffness, chromatin deformation, and gene upregulation. Theoretical modeling using discrete anisotropic stress fibers recapitulates experimental results and reveals underlying mechanisms of force-mode dependence. Our findings suggest that forces impact biological responses of living cells such as gene transcription via previously underappreciated means.
Project description:We employ computer simulations and thermodynamic integration to analyze the effects of bending rigidity and slit confinement on the free energy cost of tying knots, ΔF knotting, on polymer chains under tension. A tension-dependent, nonzero optimal stiffness κmin exists, for which ΔF knotting is minimal. For a polymer chain with several stiffness domains, each containing a large amount of monomers, the domain with stiffness κmin will be preferred by the knot. A local analysis of the bending in the interior of the knot reveals that local stretching of chains at the braid region is responsible for the fact that the tension-dependent optimal stiffness has a nonzero value. The reduction in ΔF knotting for a chain with optimal stiffness relative to the flexible chain can be enhanced by tuning the slit width of the 2D confinement and increasing the knot complexity. The optimal stiffness itself is independent of the knot types we considered, while confinement shifts it toward lower values.
Project description:The nucleus of mammalian cells displays a distinct spatial segregation of active euchromatic and inactive heterochromatic regions of the genome1,2. In conventional nuclei, microscopy shows that euchromatin is localized in the nuclear interior and heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery1,2. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) analyses show this segregation as a plaid pattern of contact enrichment within euchromatin and heterochromatin compartments3, and depletion between them. Many mechanisms for the formation of compartments have been proposed, such as attraction of heterochromatin to the nuclear lamina2,4, preferential attraction of similar chromatin to each other1,4-12, higher levels of chromatin mobility in active chromatin13-15 and transcription-related clustering of euchromatin16,17. However, these hypotheses have remained inconclusive, owing to the difficulty of disentangling intra-chromatin and chromatin-lamina interactions in conventional nuclei18. The marked reorganization of interphase chromosomes in the inverted nuclei of rods in nocturnal mammals19,20 provides an opportunity to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie spatial compartmentalization. Here we combine Hi-C analysis of inverted rod nuclei with microscopy and polymer simulations. We find that attractions between heterochromatic regions are crucial for establishing both compartmentalization and the concentric shells of pericentromeric heterochromatin, facultative heterochromatin and euchromatin in the inverted nucleus. When interactions between heterochromatin and the lamina are added, the same model recreates the conventional nuclear organization. In addition, our models allow us to rule out mechanisms of compartmentalization that involve strong euchromatin interactions. Together, our experiments and modelling suggest that attractions between heterochromatic regions are essential for the phase separation of the active and inactive genome in inverted and conventional nuclei, whereas interactions of the chromatin with the lamina are necessary to build the conventional architecture from these segregated phases.