Cell cycle– and genomic distance–dependent dynamics of a discrete chromosomal region

In contrast to the well-studied condensation and folding of chromosomes during mitosis, their dynamics during interphase are less understood. We deployed a CRISPR-based DNA imaging system to track the dynamics of genomic loci situated kilobases to megabases apart on a single chromosome. Two distinct modes of dynamics were resolved: local movements as well as ones that might reflect translational movements of the entire domain within the nucleoplasmic space. The magnitude of both of these modes of movements increased from early to late G1, whereas the translational movements were reduced in early S phase. The local fluctuations decreased slightly in early S and more markedly in mid-late S. These newly observed movements and their cell cycle dependence suggest the existence of a hitherto unrecognized compaction–relaxation dynamic of the interphase chromosome fiber, operating concurrently with changes in the extent of overall movements of loci in the 4D genome.

Model of cell cycle–dependent chromosome dy- namics.
Top: Two distinct dynamic modes (local movement and domain movement). Middle: Chromosomal fiber relaxation and dynamics during interphase progression. Bottom: Contrasting dynamics of genomic length–dependent locus pairs.