Dynamic Organization of Chromatin Domains Revealed by Super-Resolution Live-Cell Imaging

Molecular Cell
Tadasu NozakiKazuhiro Maeshima


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.

Associated Datasets


Mar 30, 2018·Chromosoma·Anna Fortuny, Sophie E Polo
Aug 25, 2017·Molecular Biology of the Cell·Ryosuke ImaiKazuhiro Maeshima
Sep 30, 2017·Nucleus·Travis J GouldDonald E Olins
Jun 23, 2018·Chemphyschem : a European Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry·Takashi NishioKenichi Yoshikawa
May 8, 2018·Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology·Geoffrey FudenbergLeonid A Mirny
Nov 6, 2018·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Eric B Gibbs, Richard W Kriwacki
Dec 22, 2017·Biochemical Society Transactions·Jeffrey C HansenKazuhiro Maeshima
Nov 21, 2018·Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine·Nicole A SzydlowskiYing S Hu
May 14, 2019·Nucleic Acids Research·Nicolas AudugéMaïté Coppey-Moisan
Mar 6, 2019·Annual Review of Biophysics·Jyotsana J ParmarChristophe Zimmer
May 28, 2019·The FEBS Journal·Jianquan Xu, Yang Liu
Jul 3, 2019·Genes·Udo J Birk
Sep 19, 2019·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·S S AshwinMasaki Sasai
Oct 25, 2019·The Journal of Cell Biology·Marie Anne O'Donnell
Nov 5, 2019·PloS One·Eralda SalatajCharalampos G Spilianakis
Apr 3, 2019·Chembiochem : a European Journal of Chemical Biology·Xiaocui GuoDayong Yang
Mar 6, 2018·Science Advances·Quentin SzaboGiacomo Cavalli
Jan 18, 2020·Science Advances·Kai HuangIgal Szleifer
Jan 15, 2020·Science Advances·Ranya K A VirkVadim Backman
Mar 4, 2020·Nucleic Acids Research·Haitham A Shaban, Andrew Seeber
May 13, 2020·Soft Matter·Tetsuya YamamotoTetsuro Hirose
Jul 1, 2020·Cancer Science·Ryu-Suke NozawaNoriko Saitoh
Aug 4, 2020·Journal of Biochemistry·Lorena ZanninoMarco Biggiogera
Apr 8, 2018·Biochemical Society Transactions·Masae OhnoYuichi Taniguchi
Jun 8, 2018·Open Biology·Donald E Olins, Ada L Olins
Oct 24, 2018·Biophysics and Physicobiology·Kazuhiro MaeshimaYuta Shimamoto
Jul 5, 2019·Nature Communications·Ning ZhaoTimothy J Stasevich
Mar 12, 2020·Frontiers in Genetics·Muhammad ShoaibClaus Storgaard Sørensen
Mar 4, 2020·Nature Methods·Melike Lakadamyali, Maria Pia Cosma
Apr 6, 2019·The Journal of Cell Biology·Hodaya Hochberg-Laufer, Yaron Shav-Tal
Mar 4, 2020·Cells·Mary PitmanYamini Dalal
Feb 12, 2020·Nature Structural & Molecular Biology·Sandro BaldiPeter B Becker
May 8, 2018·Scientific Reports·Silvija BilokapicMario Halic
Oct 10, 2018·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Shujun CaiLu Gan
Mar 25, 2018·The Journal of Cell Biology·Wanqing XiangJan Ellenberg
Mar 20, 2019·Genes·Ichiro Hiratani, Saori Takahashi
Mar 3, 2019·The Journal of Cell Biology·Ryosuke NagashimaKazuhiro Maeshima
Jan 4, 2019·Nature Cell Biology·Lothar SchermellehGregor P C Drummen
Apr 8, 2020·Royal Society Open Science·Prim B Singh, Andrew G Newman
Dec 7, 2019·Physical Review Letters·Bruno BeltranAndrew J Spakowitz

Related Concepts

Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Microscopy, Video
Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
Cellular Process
Cell Cycle Proteins
Structure-Activity Relationship

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