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BACKGROUND Structural studies of fixed cells have revealed that interphase chromosomes are highly organized into specific arrangements in the nucleus, and have led to a picture of the nucleus as a static structure with immobile chromosomes held in fixed positions, an impression apparently confirmed by recent photobleaching studies. Functional studies of(More)
BACKGROUND Mitosis involves the interaction of many different components, including chromatin, microtubules, and motor proteins. Dissecting the mechanics of mitosis requires methods of studying not just each component in isolation, but also the entire ensemble of components in its full complexity in genetically tractable model organisms. RESULTS We have(More)
Chromosome segregation during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis involves the anchoring of sister chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell. Anchoring is mediated by RacA, which acts as a bridge between a centromere-like element in the vicinity of the origin of replication and the cell pole. To define this element we mapped RacA binding sites by performing(More)
Recent experiments on unzipping of RNA helix-loop structures by force have shown that approximately 40-base molecules can undergo kinetic transitions between two well-defined "open" and "closed" states, on a timescale approximately 1 sec [Liphardt et al., Science 297, 733-737 (2001)]. Using a simple dynamical model, we show that these phenomena result from(More)
Polymers tied together by constraints exhibit an internal pressure; this idea is used to analyze physical properties of the bottle-brush-like chromosomes of meiotic prophase that consist of polymer-like flexible chromatin loops, attached to a central axis. Using a minimal number of experimental parameters, semiquantitative predictions are made for the(More)
The structure of mitotic chromosomes in cultured newt lung cells was investigated by a quantitative study of their deformability, using micropipettes. Metaphase chromosomes are highly extensible objects that return to their native shape after being stretched up to 10 times their normal length. Larger deformations of 10 to 100 times irreversibly and(More)
The multistep kinetics through which DNA-binding proteins bind their targets are heavily studied, but relatively little attention has been paid to proteins leaving the double helix. Using single-DNA stretching and fluorescence detection, we find that sequence-neutral DNA-binding proteins Fis, HU and NHP6A readily exchange with themselves and with each(More)
Most genetic regulatory mechanisms involve protein-DNA interactions. In these processes, the classical Watson-Crick DNA structure sometimes is distorted severely, which in turn enables the precise recognition of the specific sites by the protein. Despite its key importance, very little is known about such deformation processes. To address this general(More)
CC-BY-NC 4.0 International license peer-reviewed) is the author/funder. It is made available under a The copyright holder for this preprint (which was not. Abstract During cell division chromosomes are compacted in length by more than a hundred-fold. A wide range of experiments demonstrated that in their compacted state, mammalian chromosomes form arrays of(More)