Unraveling the multiplex folding of nucleosome chains in higher order chromatin

Sergei A. Grigoryev, Michael Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The DNA of eukaryotic chromatin and chromosomes is repeatedly supercoiled around histone octamers forming 'beads-on-a-string' chains of nucleosomes. The extent of nucleosome chain folding and DNA accessibility vary between different functional and epigenetic states of nuclear chromatin and change dramatically upon cell differentiation, but themolecular mechanisms that direct 3D folding of the nucleosome chain in vivo are still enigmatic. Recent advances in cell imaging and chromosome capture techniques have radically challenged the established paradigm of regular and hierarchical chromatin fibers by highlighting irregular chromatin organization and the importance of the nuclear skeletal structures hoisting the nucleosome chains. Here, we argue that, by analyzing individual structural elements of the nucleosome chain - nucleosome spacing, linker DNA conformations, internucleosomal interactions, and nucleosome chain flexibility - and integrating these elements in multiplex 3D structural models, we can predict the features of the multiplex chromatin folding assemblies underlying distinct developmental and epigenetic states in living cells. Furthermore, partial disassembly of the nuclear structures suspending chromatin fibers may reveal the intrinsic mechanisms of nucleosome chain folding. These mechanisms and structures are expected to provide molecular cues to modify chromatin structure and functions related to developmental and disease processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalEssays in biochemistry
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Nucleosomes
Chromatin
Chromosomes
Epigenomics
DNA
Nucleic Acid Conformation
Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
Fibers
Structural Models
Histones
Cues
Conformations
Cell Differentiation
Cells
Imaging techniques

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

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abstract = "The DNA of eukaryotic chromatin and chromosomes is repeatedly supercoiled around histone octamers forming 'beads-on-a-string' chains of nucleosomes. The extent of nucleosome chain folding and DNA accessibility vary between different functional and epigenetic states of nuclear chromatin and change dramatically upon cell differentiation, but themolecular mechanisms that direct 3D folding of the nucleosome chain in vivo are still enigmatic. Recent advances in cell imaging and chromosome capture techniques have radically challenged the established paradigm of regular and hierarchical chromatin fibers by highlighting irregular chromatin organization and the importance of the nuclear skeletal structures hoisting the nucleosome chains. Here, we argue that, by analyzing individual structural elements of the nucleosome chain - nucleosome spacing, linker DNA conformations, internucleosomal interactions, and nucleosome chain flexibility - and integrating these elements in multiplex 3D structural models, we can predict the features of the multiplex chromatin folding assemblies underlying distinct developmental and epigenetic states in living cells. Furthermore, partial disassembly of the nuclear structures suspending chromatin fibers may reveal the intrinsic mechanisms of nucleosome chain folding. These mechanisms and structures are expected to provide molecular cues to modify chromatin structure and functions related to developmental and disease processes.",
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Unraveling the multiplex folding of nucleosome chains in higher order chromatin. / Grigoryev, Sergei A.; Schubert, Michael.

In: Essays in biochemistry, Vol. 63, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 109-121.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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N2 - The DNA of eukaryotic chromatin and chromosomes is repeatedly supercoiled around histone octamers forming 'beads-on-a-string' chains of nucleosomes. The extent of nucleosome chain folding and DNA accessibility vary between different functional and epigenetic states of nuclear chromatin and change dramatically upon cell differentiation, but themolecular mechanisms that direct 3D folding of the nucleosome chain in vivo are still enigmatic. Recent advances in cell imaging and chromosome capture techniques have radically challenged the established paradigm of regular and hierarchical chromatin fibers by highlighting irregular chromatin organization and the importance of the nuclear skeletal structures hoisting the nucleosome chains. Here, we argue that, by analyzing individual structural elements of the nucleosome chain - nucleosome spacing, linker DNA conformations, internucleosomal interactions, and nucleosome chain flexibility - and integrating these elements in multiplex 3D structural models, we can predict the features of the multiplex chromatin folding assemblies underlying distinct developmental and epigenetic states in living cells. Furthermore, partial disassembly of the nuclear structures suspending chromatin fibers may reveal the intrinsic mechanisms of nucleosome chain folding. These mechanisms and structures are expected to provide molecular cues to modify chromatin structure and functions related to developmental and disease processes.

AB - The DNA of eukaryotic chromatin and chromosomes is repeatedly supercoiled around histone octamers forming 'beads-on-a-string' chains of nucleosomes. The extent of nucleosome chain folding and DNA accessibility vary between different functional and epigenetic states of nuclear chromatin and change dramatically upon cell differentiation, but themolecular mechanisms that direct 3D folding of the nucleosome chain in vivo are still enigmatic. Recent advances in cell imaging and chromosome capture techniques have radically challenged the established paradigm of regular and hierarchical chromatin fibers by highlighting irregular chromatin organization and the importance of the nuclear skeletal structures hoisting the nucleosome chains. Here, we argue that, by analyzing individual structural elements of the nucleosome chain - nucleosome spacing, linker DNA conformations, internucleosomal interactions, and nucleosome chain flexibility - and integrating these elements in multiplex 3D structural models, we can predict the features of the multiplex chromatin folding assemblies underlying distinct developmental and epigenetic states in living cells. Furthermore, partial disassembly of the nuclear structures suspending chromatin fibers may reveal the intrinsic mechanisms of nucleosome chain folding. These mechanisms and structures are expected to provide molecular cues to modify chromatin structure and functions related to developmental and disease processes.

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