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ABSTRACT Three-dimensional (3D) chromatin organization plays a key role in regulating mammalian genome function, however many of its physical features at the single-cell level remain underexplored. Here we use 3D super-resolution and scanning electron microscopy to analyze structural and functional nuclear organization in somatic cells. We identify linked chromatin domains (CDs) composed of irregular ∼200-300-nm-wide aggregates of nucleosomes that can overlap with individual topologically associating domains and are distinct from a surrounding RNA-populated interchromatin region. High-content mapping uncovers confinement of cohesin and active histone modifications to surfaces and enrichment of repressive modifications towards the core of CDs in both hetero- and euchromatic regions. This nanoscale functional topography is temporarily relaxed in post-replicative chromatin, but remarkably persists after ablation of cohesin. Our findings establish CDs as physical and functional modules of mesoscale genome organization.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/566638

Type

Journal article

Publication Date

04/03/2019