A proposed unified interphase nucleus chromosome structure: Preliminary preponderance of evidence

John Sedat, Angus McDonald, Hu Cang, Joseph Lucas, Muthuvel Arigovindan, Zvi Kam, Cornelis Murre, Michael Elbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryoelectron tomography of the cell nucleus using scanning transmission electron microscopy and deconvolution processing technology has highlighted a large-scale, 100-to 300-nm interphase chromosome structure, which is present throughout the nucleus. This study further documents and analyzes these chromosome structures. The paper is divided into four parts: 1) evidence (preliminary) for a unified interphase chromosome structure; 2) a proposed unified interphase chromosome architecture; 3) organization as chromosome territories (e.g., fitting the 46 human chromosomes into a 10-μm-diame-ter nucleus); and 4) structure unification into a polytene chromosome architecture and lampbrush chromosomes. Finally, the paper concludes with a living light microscopy cell study showing that the G1 nucleus contains very similar structures throughout. The main finding is that this chromosome structure appears to coil the 11-nm nucleosome fiber into a defined hollow structure, analogous to a Slinky helical spring [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slinky; motif used in Bowerman et al., eLife 10, e65587 (2021)]. This Slinky architecture can be used to build chromosome territories, extended to the polytene chromosome structure, as well as to the structure of lampbrush chromosomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2119101119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number26
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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