Chromosomes as well as chromosomal subdomains constitute distinct units in interphase nuclei
Journal of Cell Science
Fluorescence in situ hybridization has demonstrated that chromosomes form individual territories in interphase nuclei. However, this technique is not suitable to determine whether territories are mutually exclusive or interwoven. This notion, however, is essential for understanding functional organizations in the cell nucleus. Here, we analyze boundary areas of individual chromosomes during interphase using a sensitive method based on replication labeling and immunocytochemistry. Thymidine
... gues IdUrd and CldUrd were incorporated during S-phase into DNA of Chinese Hamster fibroblasts. Cells labeled with IdUrd were fused with cells labeled with CldUrd. Fused nuclei contained both IdUrd or CldUrd labeled chromosomes. Alternatively, the two labels were incorporated sequentially during successive S-phases and segregated to separate chromosomes by culturing the cells one more cell cycle. Metaphase spreads showed IdUrd-, CldUrd- and unlabeled chromosomes. Some chromatids were divided sharply in differently labeled subdomains by sister chromatid exchanges. With both methods, confocal imaging of interphase nuclei revealed labeled chromosomal domains containing fiber-like structures and unlabeled areas. At various sites, fiber-like structures were embedded in other territories. Even so, essentially no overlap between chromosome territories or between subdomains within a chromosome was observed. These observations indicate that chromosome territories and chromosomal subdomains in G(1)-phase are mutually exclusive at the resolution of the light microscope.