Effects of altering histone posttranslational modifications on mitotic chromosome structure and mechanics

Ronald Biggs, Patrick Z. Liu, Andrew D. Stephens, John F. Marko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

During cell division, chromatin is compacted into mitotic chromosomes to aid faithful segregation of the genome between two daughter cells. Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histones alter compaction of interphase chromatin, but it remains poorly understood how these modifications affect mitotic chromosome stiffness and structure. Using micropipette-based force measurements and epigenetic drugs, we probed the influence of canonical histone PTMs that dictate interphase euchromatin (acetylation) and heterochromatin (methylation) on mitotic chromosome stiffness. By measuring chromosome doubling force (the force required to double chromosome length), we find that histone methylation, but not acetylation, contributes to mitotic structure and stiffness. We discuss our findings in the context of chromatin gel modeling of the large-scale organization of mitotic chromosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-827
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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