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Chromatin stiffening underlies enhanced locus mobility after DNA damage in budding yeast

Abstract : DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induce a cellular response that involves histone modifications and chromatin remodeling at the damaged site and increases chromosome dynamics both locally at the damaged site and globally in the nucleus. In parallel, it has become clear that the spatial organization and dynamics of chromosomes can be largely explained by the statistical properties of tethered, but randomly moving, polymer chains, characterized mainly by their rigidity and compaction. How these properties of chromatin are affected during DNA damage remains, however, unclear. Here, we use live cell microscopy to track chromatin loci and measure distances between loci on yeast chromosome IV in thousands of cells, in the presence or absence of genotoxic stress. We confirm that DSBs result in enhanced chromatin subdiffusion and show that intrachromosomal distances increase with DNA damage all along the chromosome. Our data can be explained by an increase in chromatin rigidity, but not by chromatin decondensation or centromeric untethering only. We provide evidence that chromatin stiffening is mediated in part by histone H2A phosphorylation. Our results support a genome-wide stiffening of the chromatin fiber as a consequence of DNA damage and as a novel mechanism underlying increased chromatin mobility.
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Sébastien Herbert, Alice Brion, Jean-Michel Arbona, Mickaël Lelek, Adeline Veillet, et al.. Chromatin stiffening underlies enhanced locus mobility after DNA damage in budding yeast. EMBO Journal, EMBO Press, 2017, 36 (17), pp.2595-2608. ⟨10.15252/embj.201695842⟩. ⟨pasteur-02078756⟩

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