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Phasor histone FLIM-FRET microscopy quantifies spatiotemporal rearrangement of chromatin architecture during the DNA damage response.

By Jieqiong Lou, Lorenzo Scipioni, Belinda K Wright, Tara K Bartolec, Jessie Zhang, V Pragathi Masamsetti, Katharina Gaus, Enrico Gratton, Anthony J Cesare, Elizabeth Hinde

Posted 17 Sep 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/419523 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1814965116)

To investigate how chromatin architecture is spatiotemporally organised at a double strand break (DSB) repair locus, we established a biophysical method to quantify chromatin compaction at the nucleosome level during the DNA damage response (DDR). The method is based on phasor image correlation spectroscopy (ICS) of histone FLIM-FRET microscopy data acquired in live cells co-expressing H2B-eGFP and H2B-mCherry. This multiplexed approach generates spatiotemporal maps of nuclear-wide chromatin compaction that when coupled with laser micro-irradiation induced DSBs, quantify the size, stability, and spacing between compact chromatin foci throughout the DDR. Using this technology, we identify that ATM and RNF8 regulate rapid chromatin decompaction at DSBs and formation of a compact chromatin ring surrounding the repair locus. This chromatin architecture serves to demarcate the repair locus from the surrounding nuclear environment and modulate 53BP1 mobility.

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