Much like 3D pictures enhance the illusion of depth of picture perception, polymer physics can enhance the depth of organization of epigenomic landscape in topologically associated 3D loop domains.
Eukaryotic chromatin is organized into topologically associated epigenomic domains. A team of French researchers led by Daniel Jost recently unveiled a new approach for modeling epigenomic landscapes into topologically associated chromatin domains by using polymer physics.
Polymer physics studies mechanical properties, fluctuations and kinetics of polymer degradation and polymerization of polymers and monomers.
This novel approach treats chromatin as a block copolymer, where each block corresponds to an epigenomic domain. Block copolymers are two or more homo-polymer subunits linked by covalent bonds. Using this theoretical approach the investigators observed:
- The physical model accounted for folding patterns observed in topologically associated domains observed in HiC experiments.
- Simple, tractable and attractive theoretical framework for interpreting epigenomic organization.
- Multistable and dynamic chromatin architecture
Finally, this theoretical physics approach will aid as a powerful tool to predict chromatin organisation in various conditions of development and disease. In fact, it provides a framework for understanding the regulation of epigenome and phenotypic variations associated as a result of long-range interactions.
This technique reiterates the niceties of chromatin architecture observed through Hi-C maps of Drosophila.
Block co-polymer model provides a framework for understanding chromatin folding in Nucleic Acid Research, August 2014.