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Berlin 2018 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 37: Active Matter (joint session BP/CPP/DY)

BP 37.6: Vortrag

Freitag, 16. März 2018, 10:45–11:00, H 1058

DNA in the cell nucleus is organized similar to an active microemulsion — •Lennart Hilbert1,2,3, Yuko Sato4, Hiroshi Kimura4, Frank Jülicher1,3,5, Alf Honigmann2, Vasily Zaburdaev1,3, and Nadine Vastenhouw21Center for Systems Biology Dresden — 2Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics — 3Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems — 4Tokyo Institute of Technology — 5Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden

Inside cell nuclei, DNA is stored in the form of chromatin. Chromatin is three-dimensionally organized in response to transcription of DNA into RNA. Here, we studied the mechanisms by which transcription organizes chromatin, using experiments in zebrafish embryonic cells and theory. We show that transcription establishes an interspersed pattern of mutually exclusive chromatin-rich domains and RNA-rich domains. Ongoing transcriptional activity stabilizes the interspersed domain pattern by establishing contacts between the RNA and transcribed parts of chromatin. We explain our observations with an active microemulsion model based on two macromolecular mechanisms: (i) RNA/RNA-binding protein complexes and chromatin undergo phase separation, while (ii) transcription tethers RNA/RNA-binding proteins to chromatin and thereby forms amphiphile particles that intersperse the phases. Thus, three-dimensional DNA organization in the cell nucleus is an example of an unconventional, active microemulsion, stabilized by a catalytically active amphiphile that produces one of the emulsified phases.

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