ABSTRACT: Recent data indicate that eukaryotic chromosomes are organized into Topologically Associating Domains (TADs); however, the mechanisms underlying TAD formation remain obscure. Based on the results of Hi-C analysis performed on 4 Drosophila melanogaster cell lines, we have proposed that specific properties of nucleosomes in active and repressed chromatin play a key role in the formation of TADs. Our computer simulations showed that the ability of “inactive” nucleosomes to stick to each other and the lack of such ability in “active” nucleosomes is sufficient for spatial segregation of these types of chromatin, which is revealed in the Hi-C analysis as TAD/inter-TAD partitioning. However, some Drosophila and mammalian TADs contain both active and inactive chromatin, a fact that does not fit this model. Herein, we present additional arguments for the model by postulating that transcriptionally active chromatin is extruded on the surface of a TAD, and discuss the possible impact of this organization on the enhancer-promoter communication and on the segregation of TADs.
- chromatin spatial structure
- polymer simulations
- topologically associating domains