A Polymer Physics View on Universal and Sequence-Specific Aspects of Chromosome Folding

EVENT : C3BI Seminars


Main speaker : Ralf Everaers, from Laboratoire Physique ENS Lyon (UMR CNRS 5672) Date : 17-01-2019 at 02:00 pm Location : Auditorium Francois Jacob – BIME (26) ,Institut Pasteur, Paris


Recent advances in genome-wide mapping and imaging techniques have strikingly improved the resolution at which nuclear genome folding can be analyzed and revealed numerous conserved features organizing the one-dimensional chromatin fiber into tridimensional nuclear domains. Understanding the underlying mechanisms and the link to gene regulation requires a crossdisciplinary approach that combines the new high-resolution techniques with computational modeling of chromatin and chromosomes. In the presentation I will discuss our current understanding of generic aspects of chromosome behavior during interphase. In collaboration with the Cavalli lab in Montpellier for the HiC experiments, we are using simulation techniques to explore their ability to explain the large scale chromosome folding in Drosophila nuclei during the course of development. We find that territory formation is fully described by the idea of topologically constrained relaxation of decondensing metaphase chromosomes. The characteristic signature of Rabl territories due to the memory of quasi-nematic chromosome alignment is visible during early stages of development, but disappears in late embryo nuclei. Compartimentalization of centromeric heterochromatin is well accounted for by co-polymer models with like-like attraction between hetero- and eu-chromatin. The additional distinction of a small number of epigenetic states allows to reasonably well predict the formation of (and interaction between) TADs.


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