We investigate structural alterations of random-loop polymers due to changes in the crowding condition, as a model to study environmental effects on the structure of chromosome subcompartments. The polymer structure is changed in a nonmonotonic fashion with an increasing density of crowders: condensed at small volume fractions; decondensed at high crowding volume fractions. The nonmonotonic behavior is a manifestation of the nontrivial distance dependence of the depletion interactions. We also show that crowding-induced structural alterations affect the access of binding proteins to the surface of polymer segments and are distinguished from structural changes due to the increased number of specific polymer loops.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)