Dynamic Nuclear Structure Emerges from Chromatin Cross-Links and Motors

Kuang Liu, Alison E. Patteson, Edward J. Banigan, J. M. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The cell nucleus houses the chromosomes, which are linked to a soft shell of lamin protein filaments. Experiments indicate that correlated chromosome dynamics and nuclear shape fluctuations arise from motor activity. To identify the physical mechanisms, we develop a model of an active, cross-linked Rouse chain bound to a polymeric shell. System-sized correlated motions occur but require both motor activity and cross-links. Contractile motors, in particular, enhance chromosome dynamics by driving anomalous density fluctuations. Nuclear shape fluctuations depend on motor strength, cross-linking, and chromosome-lamina binding. Therefore, complex chromosome dynamics and nuclear shape emerge from a minimal, active chromosome-lamina system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number158101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 14 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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