Chromosome dynamics during interphase: a biophysical perspective

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2020 Apr:61:37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2020.03.001. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


The dynamic nature of chromosome organization plays a central role in the regulation of many crucial processes, such as DNA transcription and replication. However, the molecular bases of the link between genomic function, structure and dynamics remain elusive. In this review, we focus on how biophysical modelling can be instrumentally used to rationalize experimental studies of chromosome dynamics, and to probe the impact of putative mechanisms on genome folding kinetics during interphase. We introduce the general connection between chromatin internal organization and dynamics, and outline the potential effects of passive interactions mediated by architectural proteins and of active, energy-dependent processes on chromatin motion. Finally, we discuss current ambiguities emerging from in vivo observations, in particular related to ATP depletion and transcriptional activation, and highlight future perspectives.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • Genome / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interphase / genetics*
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics


  • Chromatin