Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The large-scale stability of chromosomes

29.06.2016

Even with 'mixed fibers' chromatin does not change its 3-D structure

"Interphase" refers to the period in the cell cycle in which chromosomes spend most of their time. During this phase, in between mitoses, chromosomes live "dissolved'' in the nucleus where they carry out the processes required for the duplication of genetic material.


Cromatin.

Credit: SISSA

Our current knowledge regarding the behaviour of chromosomes during interphase is unfortunately quite limited; for example, we would need to know more about the three-dimensional structure of the chromatin filament - the long molecule that makes up the chromosomes and that consists of DNA and other proteins - and how it changes in time and space. The shape of the chromosome is in fact important for its function as it allows or prevents access to portions of genetic code for the duplication processes.

In addition to experimental observation, another important method of study is computer simulation, based on theoretical models of chromatin. A new study has extended work done previously, which used a simpler model of chromatin consisting up of a single fibre.

In the new study, the filament could be made up of two types of fibre, one thicker and one thinner, in varying proportions. Experimental studies have indeed demonstrated the existence of two main types of chromatin, with thicknesses of 10 or 30 nm.

In the study, the scientists made molecular dynamics simulations for model chromosomes in various conditions: they added increasingly large amounts of 10 nm fibre to the homopolymer chromatin, consisting of the stiffer 30 nm fibre only.

The model used in the new study, while a simplification of the real molecule, makes the simulation more realistic. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether small-scale modifications in the chromatin fibre lead to large-scale changes in the behavior of the chromosome.

"Even after the introduction of the more flexible second fibre, the chromosome remains spatially stable" explains Ana-Maria Florescu, first author of the study and SISSA research scientist. "More in detail", adds Angelo Rosa, SISSA research fellow who coordinated the work, "we found that reorganization occurs only on spatial scales below 0.1 Mbp (million base pairs) and on time scales shorter than a few seconds".

One significant implication of this study concerns the techniques used for the experimental observation of the fibres: those most commonly used today have inadequate resolution to be able to observe this type of reorganization, so we aim to develop new methodologies (like the FISH technique based on oligonucleotides) able to visualize even genome distances smaller than 0.1 Mbp.

Media Contact

Federica Sgorbissa
pressoffice@sissa.it
39-040-378-7644

 @sissaschool

http://www.sissa.it 

Federica Sgorbissa | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>