Image_3_Single Cell Imaging of Nuclear Architecture Changes.JPEG (6.5 MB)

Image_3_Single Cell Imaging of Nuclear Architecture Changes.JPEG

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posted on 24.07.2019, 12:57 by Rikke Brandstrup Morrish, Michael Hermes, Jeremy Metz, Nicholas Stone, Stefano Pagliara, Richard Chahwan, Francesca Palombo

The dynamic architecture of chromatin, the macromolecular complex comprised primarily of DNA and histones, is vital for eukaryotic cell growth. Chemical and conformational changes to chromatin are important markers of functional and developmental processes in cells. However, chromatin architecture regulation has not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, novel approaches to assessing chromatin changes at the single-cell level are required. Here we report the use of FTIR imaging and microfluidic cell-stretcher chips to assess changes to chromatin architecture and its effect on the mechanical properties of the nucleus in immune cells. FTIR imaging enables label-free chemical imaging with subcellular resolution. By optimizing the FTIR methodology and coupling it with cell segmentation analysis approach, we have identified key spectral changes corresponding to changes in DNA levels and chromatin conformation at the single cell level. By further manipulating live single cells using pressure-driven microfluidics, we found that chromatin decondensation – either during general transcriptional activation or during specific immune cell maturation – can ultimately lead to nuclear auxeticity which is a new biological phenomenon recently identified. Taken together our findings demonstrate the tight and, potentially bilateral, link between extra-cellular mechanotransduction and intra-cellular nuclear architecture.

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