Functional mechanisms of the genome studied through live imaging and single molecule methods

Sun, 02/12/2012 - 10:30

The human genome contains tenth of thousands of genes that are organized in chromosomes and packed in the nucleus of the cell. How can the chromosomes and DNA that are highly dynamic stay organized in territories without any compartmentalization?
We study the organization by following the dynamics of various genetic sites using single particle tracking. The dynamics is analyzed by using diffusion models and was found to be transient anomalous diffusion. This type of diffusion can be explained by assuming that the DNA forms temporal loops through a certain mediator. We identified a candidate protein (Lamin A) and show the effect of this protein deficiency in cells. Single molecule methods that we use for studying protein-DNA interaction will also be demonstrated.