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Background: Previous studies of higher order chromatin organization in nuclei of mammalian species revealed both structural consistency and species-specific differences between cell lines and during early embryonic development. Here, we extended our studies to nuclear landscapes in the human myelopoietic lineage representing a somatic cell differentiation system. Our longterm goal is a search for structural features of nuclei, which are restricted to certain cell types/species, as compared to features, which are evolutionary highly conserved, arguing for their basic functional roles in nuclear organization. Results: Common human hematopoietic progenitors, myeloid precursor cells, differentiated monocytes and granulocytes analyzed by super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy revealed profound differences with respect to global chromatin arrangements, the nuclear space occupied by the interchromatin compartment and the distribution of nuclear pores. In contrast, we noted a consistent organization in all cell types with regard to two co-aligned networks, an active (ANC) and an inactive (INC) nuclear compartment delineated by functionally relevant hallmarks. The ANC is enriched in active RNA polymerase II, splicing speckles and histone signatures for transcriptionally competent chromatin (H3K4me3), whereas the INC carries marks for repressed chromatin (H3K9me3). Conclusions: Our findings substantiate the conservation of the recently published ANC-INC network model of mammalian nuclear organization during human myelopoiesis irrespective of profound changes of the global nuclear architecture observed during this differentiation process. According to this model, two spatially co-aligned and functionally interacting active and inactive nuclear compartments (ANC and INC) pervade the nuclear space.
Hübner, B., Lomiento, M., Mammoli, F., Illner, D., Markaki, Y., Ferrari, S., … Cremer, T. (2015). Remodeling of nuclear landscapes during human myelopoietic cell differentiation maintains co-aligned active and inactive nuclear compartments. Epigenetics and Chromatin, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13072-015-0038-0