This live cell study of chromatin dynamics in four dimensions (space and time) in cycling human cells provides direct evidence for three hypotheses first proposed by Theodor Boveri in seminal studies of fixed blastomeres from Parascaris equorum embryos: (I) Chromosome territory (CT) arrangements are stably maintained during interphase. (II) Chromosome proximity patterns change profoundly during prometaphase. (III) Similar CT proximity patterns in pairs of daughter nuclei reflect symmetrical chromosomal movements during anaphase and telophase, but differ substantially from the arrangement in mother cell nucleus. Hypothesis I could be confirmed for the majority of interphase cells. A minority, however, showed complex, rotational movements of CT assemblies with large-scale changes of CT proximity patterns, while radial nuclear arrangements were maintained. A new model of chromatin dynamics is proposed. It suggests that long-range DNA-DNA interactions in cell nuclei may depend on a combination of rotational CT movements and locally constrained chromatin movements.
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