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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.


Kuang Liu, Alison E Patteson, Edward J Banigan, J M Schwarz. Dynamic Nuclear Structure Emerges from Chromatin Cross-Links and Motors. Physical review letters. 2021 Apr 16;126(15):158101

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PMID: 33929233

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