Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 60,207 bioRxiv papers from 267,649 authors.
The genetic instructions stored in the genome require an additional layer of information to robustly determine cell fate. This additional regulation is provided by the interplay between chromosome-patterning biochemical ("epigenetic") marks and three- dimensional genome folding. Yet, the physical principles underlying the dynamical coupling between three-dimensional genomic organisation and one-dimensional epigenetic patterns remain elusive. To shed light on this issue, here we study by mean field theory and Brownian dynamics simulations a magnetic polymer model for chromosomes, where each monomer carries a dynamic epigenetic mark. At the single chromosome level, we show that a first order transition describes the unlimited spreading of epigenetic marks, a phenomenon that is often observed in vivo. At the level of the whole nucleus, experiments suggest chromosomes form micro-phase separated compartments with distinct epigenetic marks. We here discover that for a melt of magnetic polymers such a morphology is thermodynamically unstable, but can be stabilised by a non-equilibrium and ATP-mediated epigenetic switch between different monomer states.
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