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During mitosis, human chromosomes are linearly compacted ~1000-fold by loop-extruding motors. Recent experiments have shown that condensins extrude DNA loops, but in a "one-sided" manner. We explore whether one-sided extrusion can compact chromosomes by developing a mean-field model for polymer compaction by motors that actively extrude loops and turnover. The model establishes an upper bound of only ~10-fold for compaction by one-sided extrusion. Thus, it cannot be the sole mechanism of chromosome compaction. However, other, effectively two-sided mechanisms can achieve sufficient compaction.
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