Abstract: Genetic information is known to be encoded in the sequence of the DNA molecule. However, access to this information and how it is read can be influenced by how the DNA molecule is folded and organized within the 3-dimensional (3D) space of the eukaryotic nucleus. Recent genomic methods have allowed higher resolution studies of genome organization, and these studies have revealed that 3D genome organization follows both general organizational principles as well as tissue-specific and stress-induced organizational states.
Furthermore, specific movements of genomic regions or genes seems to be important for either gene activation or repression where regulatory DNA sequences appear to require close physical proximity with other DNA or nuclear envelope regions. This presentation will focus on a group of proteins called condensins and how it is thought that condensins provide mechanical forces for shaping 3D genome architecture. Condensins are ATPases that do work on the chromatin fiber.
How exactly they function to shape and reshape genome organization, modulate local and global gene expression is not known. Condensins are ancient proteins conserved from bacteria to humans and are essential for survival. Therefore, elucidating mechanistic functions of condensins will give us insights into fundamental principles of how genomes are organized and why this organization is important for basic and essential biological processes.
1. Genes, Genomes, Genetics. "Condensins exert force on chromatin-nuclear envelope tethers to mediate nucleoplasmic reticulum formation in Drosophila melanogaster"
2. Molecular Cell. "Widespread rearrangement of 3D chromatin organization underlies polycomb-mediated stress-induced silencing"