Single-nucleosome imaging reveals steady-state motion of interphase chromatin in living human cells

Shiori Iida, Soya Shinkai, Yuji Itoh, Sachiko Tamura, Masato T. Kanemaki, Shuichi Onami, Kazuhiro Maeshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic chromatin behavior plays a critical role in various genome functions. However, it remains unclear how chromatin behavior changes during interphase, where the nucleus enlarges and genomic DNA doubles. While the previously reported chromatin movements varied during interphase when measured using a minute or longer time scale, we unveil that local chromatin motion captured by single-nucleosome imaging/tracking on a second time scale remained steady throughout G1, S, and G2 phases in live human cells. This motion mode appeared to change beyond this time scale. A defined genomic region also behaved similarly. Combined with Brownian dynamics modeling, our results suggest that this steady-state chromatin motion was mainly driven by thermal fluctuations. Steady-state motion temporarily increased following a DNA damage response. Our findings support the viscoelastic properties of chromatin. We propose that the observed steady-state chromatin motion allows cells to conduct housekeeping functions, such as transcription and DNA replication, under similar environments during interphase.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabn5626
JournalScience Advances
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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