Fluid-like chromatin: Toward understanding the real chromatin organization present in the cell

Kazuhiro Maeshima, Sachiko Tamura, Jeffrey C. Hansen, Yuji Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Eukaryotic chromatin is a negatively charged polymer consisting of genomic DNA, histones, and various nonhistone proteins. Because of its highly charged character, the structure of chromatin varies greatly depending on the surrounding environment (i.e. cations etc.): from an extended 10-nm fiber, to a folded 30-nm fiber, to chromatin condensates/liquid-droplets. Over the last ten years, newly developed technologies have drastically shifted our view on chromatin from a static regular structure to a more irregular and dynamic one, locally like a fluid. Since no single imaging (or genomics) method can tell us everything and beautiful images (or models) can fool our minds, comprehensive analyses based on many technical approaches are important to capture actual chromatin organization inside the cell. Here we critically discuss our current view on chromatin and methodology used to support the view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • 30-nm fiber
  • Chromatin
  • Hi-C
  • Liquid droplet
  • Nucleosome
  • Super-resolution imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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