The radial positioning of chromatin is not inherited through mitosis but is established de novo in early G1

Curr Biol. 2004 Jan 20;14(2):166-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2003.12.024.


The organization of chromatin in the nucleus is nonrandom. Different genomic regions tend to reside in preferred nuclear locations, relative to radial position and nuclear compartments. Several lines of evidence support a role for chromatin localization in the regulation of gene expression. Therefore, a key problem is how the organization of chromatin is established and maintained in dividing cell populations. There is controversy about the extent to which chromatin organization is inherited from mother to daughter nucleus. We have used time-lapse microscopy to track specific human loci after exit from mitosis. In comparison to later stages of interphase, we detect increased chromatin mobility during the first 2 hr of G1, and during this period association of loci with nuclear compartments is both gained and lost. Although chromatin in daughter nuclei has a rough symmetry in its spatial distribution, we show, for the first time, that the association of loci with nuclear compartments displays significant asymmetry between daughter nuclei and therefore cannot be inherited from the mother nucleus. We conclude that the organization of chromatin in the nucleus is not passed down precisely from one cell to its descendents but is more plastic and becomes refined during early G1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Segregation / physiology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • G1 Phase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inheritance Patterns / physiology
  • Microscopy, Confocal


  • Chromatin