Chromosome territory formation attenuates the translocation potential of cells

Elife. 2019 Nov 4:8:e49553. doi: 10.7554/eLife.49553.


The formation and spatial arrangement of chromosome territories (CTs) in interphase has been posited to influence the outcome and frequency of genomic translocations. This is supported by correlations between the frequency of inter-chromosomal contacts and translocation events in myriad systems. However, it remains unclear if CT formation itself influences the translocation potential of cells. We address this question in Drosophila cells by modulating the level of Condensin II, which regulates CT organization. Using whole-chromosome Oligopaints to identify genomic rearrangements, we find that increased contact frequencies between chromosomes due to Condensin II knockdown leads to an increased propensity to form translocations following DNA damage. Moreover, Condensin II over-expression is sufficient to drive spatial separation of CTs and attenuate the translocation potential of cells. Together, these results provide the first causal evidence that proper CT formation can protect the genome from potentially deleterious translocations in the presence of DNA damage.

Keywords: Condensin II; D. melanogaster; FISH; cell biology; chromosome territory; chromosomes; gene expression; genome integrity; oligopaints; translocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosomes / metabolism*
  • Cytogenetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila
  • Interphase*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • condensin complexes
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases