Systematic characterization of the conformation and dynamics of budding yeast chromosome XII

J Cell Biol. 2013 Jul 22;202(2):201-10. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201208186.


Chromosomes architecture is viewed as a key component of gene regulation, but principles of chromosomal folding remain elusive. Here we used high-throughput live cell microscopy to characterize the conformation and dynamics of the longest chromosome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (XII). Chromosome XII carries the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) that defines the nucleolus, a major hallmark of nuclear organization. We determined intranuclear positions of 15 loci distributed every ~100 kb along the chromosome, and investigated their motion over broad time scales (0.2-400 s). Loci positions and motions, except for the rDNA, were consistent with a computational model of chromosomes based on tethered polymers and with the Rouse model from polymer physics, respectively. Furthermore, rapamycin-dependent transcriptional reprogramming of the genome only marginally affected the chromosome XII internal large-scale organization. Our comprehensive investigation of chromosome XII is thus in agreement with recent studies and models in which long-range architecture is largely determined by the physical principles of tethered polymers and volume exclusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleolus / genetics
  • Cell Nucleolus / metabolism
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / metabolism
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sirolimus
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism
  • Time-Lapse Imaging
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Sirolimus