Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20080699
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 Feb;107(5):2025-30
Physical interactions between distinct chromosomal genomic loci are important for genomic functions including recombination and gene expression, but the mechanisms by which these interactions occur remain obscure. Using telomeric association as a model system, we analyzed here the in vivo organization of chromosome ends of haploid yeast cells during interphase. We separately labeled most of the 32 subtelomeres and analyzed their positions both in nuclear space and relative to three representative reference subtelomeres by high-throughput 3D microscopy and image processing. We show that subtelomeres are positioned nonrandomly at the nuclear periphery, depending on the genomic size of their chromosome arm, centromere attachment to the microtubule organizing center (spindle pole body, SPB), and the volume of the nucleolus. The distance of subtelomeres to the SPB increases consistently with chromosome arm length up to approximately 300 kb; for larger arms the influence of chromosome arm length is weaker, but the effect of the nucleolar volume is stronger. Distances between pairs of subtelomeres also exhibit arm-length dependence and suggest, together with dynamic tracking experiments, that potential associations between subtelomeres are unexpectedly infrequent and transient. Our results suggest that interactions between subtelomeres are nonspecific and instead governed by physical constraints, including chromosome structure, attachment to the SPB, and nuclear crowding.