Apr 18, 2020

Image-based elastography of heterochromatin and euchromatin domains in the deforming cell nucleus

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
S. GhoshCorey Neu

Abstract

Chromatin of the eukaryotic cell nucleus comprises of microscopically dense heterochromatin and loosely packed euchromatin domains, each with distinct transcriptional ability and roles in cellular mechanotransduction. While recent methods have been developed to characterize the nucleus, measurement of intranuclear mechanics remains largely unknown. Here, we describe the development of nuclear elastography, which combines microscopic imaging and computational modeling to quantify the relative elasticity of the heterochromatin and euchromatin domains. Using contracting murine embryonic cardiomyocytes, nuclear elastography reveals that the heterochromatin is almost four times stiffer than the euchromatin at peak deformation. The relative elasticity between the two domains changes rapidly during the active deformation of the cardiomyocyte in the normal physiological condition but progresses more slowly in cells cultured in a mechanically stiff environment, although the relative stiffness at peak deformation does not change. Further, we found that the disruption of the LINC complex in cardiomyocytes compromises the intranuclear elasticity distribution resulting in elastically similar heterochromatin and euchromatin. These results pr...Continue Reading

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