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Bridging-induced microphase separation: photobleaching experiments, chromatin domains, and the need for active reactions.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalBriefings in functional genomics
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


We review the mechanism and consequences of the "bridging-induced attraction", a generic biophysical principle which underpins some existing models for chromosome organisation in 3-D. This attraction, which was
revealed in polymer physics-inspired computer simulations, is a generic clustering tendency arising in multivalent chromatin-binding proteins, and it provides an explanation for the biogenesis of nuclear bodies and transcription
factories via microphase separation. Including post-translational modication reactions involving these multivalent proteins can account for the fast dynamics of the ensuing clusters, as is observed via microscopy and photobleaching experiments. The clusters found in simulations also give rise to chromatin domains which conform well with the observation of A/B compartments in HiC experiments.

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