Nanoscale chromatin imaging and analysis platform bridges 4D chromatin organization with molecular function

Yue Li, Adam Eshein, Ranya K.A. Virk, Aya Eid, Wenli Wu, Jane Frederick, David VanDerway, Scott Gladstein, Kai Huang, Anne R. Shim, Nicholas M. Anthony, Greta M. Bauer, Xiang Zhou, Vasundhara Agrawal, Emily M. Pujadas, Surbhi Jain, George Esteve, John E. Chandler, The Quyen Nguyen, Reiner BleherJuan J. de Pablo, Igal Szleifer, Vinayak P. Dravid, Luay M. Almassalha, Vadim Backman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Extending across multiple length scales, dynamic chromatin structure is linked to transcription through the regulation of genome organization. However, no individual technique can fully elucidate this structure and its relation to molecular function at all length and time scales at both a single-cell level and a population level. Here, we present a multitechnique nanoscale chromatin imaging and analysis (nano-ChIA) platform that consolidates electron tomography of the primary chromatin fiber, optical super-resolution imaging of transcription processes, and label-free nano-sensing of chromatin packing and its dynamics in live cells. Using nano-ChIA, we observed that chromatin is localized into spatially separable packing domains, with an average diameter of around 200 nanometers, sub-megabase genomic size, and an internal fractal structure. The chromatin packing behavior of these domains exhibits a complex bidirectional relationship with active gene transcription. Furthermore, we found that properties of PDs are correlated among progenitor and progeny cells across cell division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabe4310
JournalScience Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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