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Chromatin structure and dynamics: one nucleosome at a time

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Abstract

Eukaryotic genomes store information on many levels, including their linear DNA sequence, the posttranslational modifications of its constituents (epigenetic modifications), and its three-dimensional folding. Understanding how this information is stored and read requires multidisciplinary collaborations from many branches of science beyond biology, including physics, chemistry, and computer science. Concurrent recent developments in all these areas have enabled researchers to image the genome with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. In this review, we focus on what single-molecule imaging and tracking of individual proteins in live cells have taught us about chromatin structure and dynamics. Starting with the basics of single-molecule tracking (SMT), we describe some advantages over in situ imaging techniques and its current limitations. Next, we focus on single-nucleosome studies and what they have added to our current understanding of the relationship between chromatin dynamics and transcription. In celebration of Robert Feulgen’s ground-breaking discovery that allowed us to start seeing the genome, we discuss current models of chromatin structure and future challenges ahead.

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Acknowledgements

D.M.P. thanks Dr. Tom Misteli for the invitation to contribute to this special issue and Robert Feulgen for opening the road to further developments. The authors thank Dr. Kaustubh Wagh and Prof. Valeria Levi for critical reading of the manuscript and insightful suggestions. This work is supported by CONICET and ANPCyT (PICT 2018 PRH 2018-0573). The authors want to express their concern over the threat that Argentinean Science is facing due to the major cuts in our National Agencies funding. Investment in Argentinean Science should be considered a cornerstone for the social and economic development of our country.

Funding

This article is funded by Agencia Nacional de Promoción de la Investigación, el Desarrollo Tecnológico y la Innovación, PICT 2018 PRH 2018–0573, PICT 2018 PRH 2018–0573, PICT 2018 PRH 2018–0573.

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D.M.P. devised the general structure of the manuscript and prepared Figs. 1–2 with input from all authors. D.M.P., B.B., A.L.F., and A.V.L. wrote the manuscript and surveyed the relevant literature. All authors reviewed the manuscript

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Correspondence to Diego M. Presman.

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Presman, D.M., Benítez, B., Lafuente, A.L. et al. Chromatin structure and dynamics: one nucleosome at a time. Histochem Cell Biol (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00418-024-02281-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00418-024-02281-1

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