[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Replicon Theory proposed 50years ago has proven to apply for replicons of the three domains of life. Here we review our knowledge of genome organization into single and multiple replicons in bacteria, archae and eukarya. Bacterial and archaeal replicator/initiator systems are quite specific and efficient whereas eukaryotic replicons show degenerate specificity and efficiency, allowing for complex regulation of origin firing time. We expand on recent evidence that ~50% of the human genome is organized as∼1,500 megabase-sized replication domains with a characteristic parabolic (U-shaped) replication timing profile and linear (N-shaped) gradient of replication fork polarity. These N/U domains correspond to self-interacting segments of the chromatin fiber bordered by open chromatin zones and replicate by cascades of origin firing initiating at their borders and propagating to their center, possibly by fork-stimulated initiation. The conserved occurrence of this replication pattern in the germline of mammals has resulted over evolutionary times in the formation of megabase-sized domains with an N-shaped nucleotide compositional skew profile due to replication-associated mutational asymmetries. Overall, these results reveal an evolutionarily conserved but developmentally plastic organisation of replication that is driving mammalian genome evolution.
Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2013; · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advances in genomic studies have led to significant progress in understanding the epigenetically controlled interplay between chromatin structure and nuclear functions. Epigenetic modifications were shown to play a key role in transcription regulation and genome activity during development and differentiation or in response to the environment. Paradoxically, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the initiation and the maintenance of the spatio-temporal replication program in higher eukaryotes, and in particular their links to epigenetic modifications, still remain elusive. By integrative analysis of the genome-wide distributions of thirteen epigenetic marks in the human cell line K562, at the 100 kb resolution of corresponding mean replication timing (MRT) data, we identify four major groups of chromatin marks with shared features. These states have different MRT, namely from early to late replicating, replication proceeds though a transcriptionally active euchromatin state (C1), a repressive type of chromatin (C2) associated with polycomb complexes, a silent state (C3) not enriched in any available marks, and a gene poor HP1-associated heterochromatin state (C4). When mapping these chromatin states inside the megabase-sized U-domains (U-shaped MRT profile) covering about 50% of the human genome, we reveal that the associated replication fork polarity gradient corresponds to a directional path across the four chromatin states, from C1 at U-domains borders followed by C2, C3 and C4 at centers. Analysis of the other genome half is consistent with early and late replication loci occurring in separate compartments, the former correspond to gene-rich, high-GC domains of intermingled chromatin states C1 and C2, whereas the latter correspond to gene-poor, low-GC domains of alternating chromatin states C3 and C4 or long C4 domains. This new segmentation sheds a new light on the epigenetic regulation of the spatio-temporal replication program in human and provides a framework for further studies in different cell types, in both health and disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We use graph theory to analyze chromatin interaction (Hi-C) data in the human genome. We show that a key functional feature of the genome-"master" replication origins-corresponds to DNA loci of maximal network centrality. These loci form a set of interconnected hubs both within chromosomes and between different chromosomes. Our results open the way to a fruitful use of graph theory concepts to decipher DNA structural organization in relation to genome functions such as replication and transcription. This quantitative information should prove useful to discriminate between possible polymer models of nuclear organization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the first embryonic division in Caenorhabditis elegans, the mitotic spindle is pulled toward the posterior pole of the cell and undergoes vigorous transverse oscillations. We identified variations in spindle trajectories by analyzing the outwardly similar one-cell stage embryo of its close relative Caenorhabditis briggsae. Compared with C. elegans, C. briggsae embryos exhibit an anterior shifting of nuclei in prophase and reduced anaphase spindle oscillations. By combining physical perturbations and mutant analysis in both species, we show that differences can be explained by interspecies changes in the regulation of the cortical Gα-GPR-LIN-5 complex. However, we found that in both species (1) a conserved positional switch controls the onset of spindle oscillations, (2) GPR posterior localization may set this positional switch, and (3) the maximum amplitude of spindle oscillations is determined by the time spent in the oscillating phase. By investigating microevolution of a subcellular process, we identify new mechanisms that are instrumental to decipher spindle positioning.
The Journal of Cell Biology 05/2013; · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface plasmon resonance is conventionally conducted in the visible range and, during the past decades, it has proved its efficiency in probing molecular scale interactions. Here we elaborate on the first implementation of a high resolution surface plasmon microscope that operates at near infrared (IR) wavelength for the specific purpose of living matter imaging. We analyze the characteristic angular and spatial frequencies of plasmon resonance in visible and near IR lights and how these combined quantities contribute to the V (Z) response of a scanning surface plasmon microscope (SSPM). Using a space-frequency wavelet decomposition, we show that the V (Z) response of the SSPM for red (632.8 nm) and near IR (1550 nm) lights includes the frequential response of plasmon resonance together with additional parasitic frequencies induced by the objective pupil. Because the objective lens pupil profile is often unknown, this space-frequency decomposition turns out to be very useful to decipher the characteristic frequencies of the experimental V (Z) curves. Comparing the visible and near IR light responses of the SSPM, we show that our objective lens, primarily designed for visible light microscopy, is still operating very efficiently in near IR light. Actually, despite their loss in resolution, the SSPM images obtained with near IR light remain contrasted for a wider range of defocus values from negative to positive Z values. We illustrate our theoretical modeling with a preliminary experimental application to blood cell imaging.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In higher eukaryotes, the absence of specific sequence motifs, marking the origins of replication has been a serious hindrance to the understanding of (i) the mechanisms that regulate the spatio-temporal replication program, and (ii) the links between origins activation, chromatin structure and transcription. In this chapter, we review the partitioning of the human genome into megabased-size replication domains delineated as N-shaped motifs in the strand compositional asymmetry profiles. They collectively span 28.3% of the genome and are bordered by more than 1,000 putative replication origins. We recapitulate the comparison of this partition of the human genome with high-resolution experimental data that confirms that replication domain borders are likely to be preferential replication initiation zones in the germline. In addition, we highlight the specific distribution of experimental and numerical chromatin marks along replication domains. Domain borders correspond to particular open chromatin regions, possibly encoded in the DNA sequence, and around which replication and transcription are highly coordinated. These regions also present a high evolutionary breakpoint density, suggesting that susceptibility to breakage might be linked to local open chromatin fiber state. Altogether, this chapter presents a compartmentalization of the human genome into replication domains that are landmarks of the human genome organization and are likely to play a key role in genome dynamics during evolution and in pathological situations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this protocol, we describe the use of the LastWave open-source signal-processing command language (http://perso.ens-lyon.fr/benjamin.audit/LastWave/) for analyzing cellular DNA replication timing profiles. LastWave makes use of a multiscale, wavelet-based signal-processing algorithm that is based on a rigorous theoretical analysis linking timing profiles to fundamental features of the cell's DNA replication program, such as the average replication fork polarity and the difference between replication origin density and termination site density. We describe the flow of signal-processing operations to obtain interactive visual analyses of DNA replication timing profiles. We focus on procedures for exploring the space-scale map of apparent replication speeds to detect peaks in the replication timing profiles that represent preferential replication initiation zones, and for delimiting U-shaped domains in the replication timing profile. In comparison with the generally adopted approach that involves genome segmentation into regions of constant timing separated by timing transition regions, the present protocol enables the recognition of more complex patterns of the spatio-temporal replication program and has a broader range of applications. Completing the full procedure should not take more than 1 h, although learning the basics of the program can take a few hours and achieving full proficiency in the use of the software may take days.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In paper I, we addressed the impact of the spatio-temporal program on the DNA composition evolution in the case of time homogeneous and neighbor-independent substitution rates. But substitution rates do depend on the flanking nucleotides as exemplified in vertebrates where CpG sites are hypermutable so that the substitution rate [Formula: see text] depends dramatically (ten fold) on whether the cytosine belongs to a CG dinucleotide or not. With the specific goal to account for neighbor-dependence, we revisit our minimal modeling of neutral substitution rates in the human genome. When assuming that [Formula: see text] and its reverse complement [Formula: see text]are (by far) the main neighbor-dependent substitution rates, we demonstrate, using perturbative analysis, that neighbor-dependence does not affect the decomposition of the compositional asymmetry into a transcription- and a replication-associated components, the former increases in magnitude with transcription rate and changes sign with gene orientation, whereas the latter is proportional to the replication fork polarity. Indeed the neighbor dependence case differs from the neighbor-independent model by an additional source term related to the CG dinucleotide content in both the transcription and replication-associated components. We finally discuss the case of time-dependent substitution rates confirming as a very general result the fact that the skew can still be decomposed into a transcription- and a replication-associated components.
The European Physical Journal E 11/2012; 35(11):9799. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although chromatin folding is known to be of functional importance to control the gene expression program, less is known regarding its interplay with DNA replication. Here, using Circular Chromatin Conformation Capture combined with high-throughput sequencing, we identified megabase-sized self-interacting domains in the nucleus of a human lymphoblastoid cell line, as well as in cycling and resting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Strikingly, the boundaries of those domains coincide with early-initiation zones in every cell types. Preferential interactions have been observed between the consecutive early-initiation zones, but also between those separated by several tens of megabases. Thus, the 3D conformation of chromatin is strongly correlated with the replication timing along the whole chromosome. We furthermore provide direct clues that, in addition to the timing value per se, the shape of the timing profile at a given locus defines its set of genomic contacts. As this timing-related scheme of chromatin organization exists in lymphoblastoid cells, resting and cycling PBMC, this indicates that it is maintained several weeks or months after the previous S-phase. Lastly, our work highlights that the major chromatin changes accompanying PBMC entry into cell cycle occur while keeping largely unchanged the long-range chromatin contacts.
Nucleic Acids Research 08/2012; 40(19):9470-81. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on an analogy between DNA replication and one dimensional
nucleation-and-growth processes, various attempts to infer the local
initiation rate I(x,t) of DNA replication origins from replication
timing data have been developed in the framework of phase transition
kinetics theories. These works have all used curve-fit strategies to
estimate I(x,t) from genome-wide replication timing data. Here, we show
how to invert analytically the Kolmogorov-Johnson-Mehl-Avrami model and
extract I(x,t) directly. Tests on both simulated and experimental
budding-yeast data confirm the location and firing-time distribution of
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We generalize the so-called wavelet transform modulus maxima (WTMM) method to multifractal image analysis. We show that the
implementation of this method provides very efficient numerical techniques to characterize statistically the roughness fluctuations
of fractal surfaces. We emphasize the wide range of potential applications of this wavelet-based image processing method in
fundamental as well as applied sciences. This paper is the first one of a series of three articles. It is mainly devoted to
the methodology and to test applications on random self-affine surfaces (e.g., isotropic fractional Brownian surfaces and anisotropic monofractal rough surfaces). Besides its ability to characterize
point-wise regularity, the WTMM method is definitely a multiscale edge detection method which can be equally used for pattern
recognition, detection of contours and image denoising. Paper II (N. Decoster, S.G. Roux, A. Arnéodo, to be published in Eur.
Phys. J. B 15 (2000)) will be devoted to some applications of the WTMM method to synthetic multifractal rough surfaces. In paper III (S.G.
Roux, A. Arnéodo, N. Decoster, to be published in Eur. Phys. J. 15 (2000)), we will report the results of a comparative experimental analysis of high-resolution satellite images of cloudy
PACS. 47.53.+n Fractals - 02.50.-r Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics–05.40.-a Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion–68.35.Bs Surface structure and topography
Physics of Condensed Matter 04/2012; 15(3):567-600. · 1.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In higher eukaryotes, replication program specification in different cell types remains to be fully understood. We show for seven human cell lines that about half of the genome is divided in domains that display a characteristic U-shaped replication timing profile with early initiation zones at borders and late replication at centers. Significant overlap is observed between U-domains of different cell lines and also with germline replication domains exhibiting a N-shaped nucleotide compositional skew. From the demonstration that the average fork polarity is directly reflected by both the compositional skew and the derivative of the replication timing profile, we argue that the fact that this derivative displays a N-shape in U-domains sustains the existence of large-scale gradients of replication fork polarity in somatic and germline cells. Analysis of chromatin interaction (Hi-C) and chromatin marker data reveals that U-domains correspond to high-order chromatin structural units. We discuss possible models for replication origin activation within U/N-domains. The compartmentalization of the genome into replication U/N-domains provides new insights on the organization of the replication program in the human genome.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major question in chromatin biology is to what extent the sequence of DNA directly determines the genetic and chromatin organization of a eukaryotic genome? We consider two aspects to this question: the DNA sequence-specified positioning of nucleosomes and the determination of NDRs (nucleosome-depleted regions) or barriers. We argue that, in budding yeast, while DNA sequence-specified nucleosome positioning may contribute to positions flanking the regions lacking nucleosomes, DNA thermodynamic stability is a major component determinant of the genetic organization of this organism.
Biochemical Society Transactions 04/2012; 40(2):335-40. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigate the large-scale organization of human genes with respect to “master” replication origins that were previously identified as bordering nucleotide compositional skew domains. We separate genes in two categories depending on their CpG enrichment at the promoter which can be considered as a marker of germline DNA methylation. Using expression data in mouse, we confirm that CpG-rich genes are highly expressed in germline whereas CpG-poor genes are in a silent state. We further show that, whether tissue-specific or broadly expressed (housekeeping genes), the CpG-rich genes are over-represented close to the replication skew domain borders suggesting some coordination of replication and transcription. We also reveal that the transcription of the longest CpG-rich genes is co-oriented with replication fork progression so that the promoter of these transcriptionally active genes be located into the accessible open chromatin environment surrounding the master replication origins that border the replication skew domains. The observation of a similar gene organization in the mouse genome confirms the interplay of replication, transcription and chromatin structure as the cornerstone of mammalian genome architecture.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A phenomenological theory of the fluctuations of velocity occurring in a
fully developed homogeneous and isotropic turbulent flow is presented. The
focus is made on the fluctuations of the spatial (Eulerian) and temporal
(Lagrangian) velocity increments. The universal nature of the intermittency
phenomenon as observed in experimental measurements and numerical simulations
is shown to be fully taken into account by the multiscale picture proposed by
the multifractal formalism, and its extensions to the dissipative scales and to
the Lagrangian framework. The article is devoted to the presentation of these
arguments and to their comparisons against empirical data. In particular,
explicit predictions of the statistics, such as probability density functions
and high order moments, of the velocity gradients and acceleration are derived.
In the Eulerian framework, at a given Reynolds number, they are shown to depend
on a single parameter function called the singularity spectrum and to a
universal constant governing the transition between the inertial and
dissipative ranges. The Lagrangian singularity spectrum compares well with its
Eulerian counterpart by a transformation based on incompressibility,
homogeneity and isotropy and the remaining constant is shown to be difficult to
estimate on empirical data. It is finally underlined the limitations of the
increment to quantify accurately the singular nature of Lagrangian velocity.
This is confirmed using higher order increments unbiased by the presence of
linear trends, as they are observed on velocity along a trajectory.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide replication timing studies have suggested that mammalian chromosomes consist of megabase-scale domains of coordinated origin firing separated by large originless transition regions. Here, we report a quantitative genome-wide analysis of DNA replication kinetics in several human cell types that contradicts this view. DNA combing in HeLa cells sorted into four temporal compartments of S phase shows that replication origins are spaced at 40 kb intervals and fire as small clusters whose synchrony increases during S phase and that replication fork velocity (mean 0.7 kb/min, maximum 2.0 kb/min) remains constant and narrowly distributed through S phase. However, multi-scale analysis of a genome-wide replication timing profile shows a broad distribution of replication timing gradients with practically no regions larger than 100 kb replicating at less than 2 kb/min. Therefore, HeLa cells lack large regions of unidirectional fork progression. Temporal transition regions are replicated by sequential activation of origins at a rate that increases during S phase and replication timing gradients are set by the delay and the spacing between successive origin firings rather than by the velocity of single forks. Activation of internal origins in a specific temporal transition region is directly demonstrated by DNA combing of the IGH locus in HeLa cells. Analysis of published origin maps in HeLa cells and published replication timing and DNA combing data in several other cell types corroborate these findings, with the interesting exception of embryonic stem cells where regions of unidirectional fork progression seem more abundant. These results can be explained if origins fire independently of each other but under the control of long-range chromatin structure, or if replication forks progressing from early origins stimulate initiation in nearby unreplicated DNA. These findings shed a new light on the replication timing program of mammalian genomes and provide a general model for their replication kinetics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We elaborate on a generalization of the 2D wormlike chain (WLC) model that accounts for the presence of long-range correlations (LRC) in the intrinsic curvature distribution of eukaryotic DNA. This model predicts some decrease of the DNA persistence length resulting from some large-scale intrinsic curvature induced by sequence-dependent persistent random distribution of local bending sites. When assisting exact analytical calculations by numerical DNA simulations, we show that the conjugated contributions of i) the thermal curvature fluctuations characterized by the "dynamic" persistence length ℓ(p)(d) = 2A, where A is the elastic bending modulus, and ii) the intrinsic LRC curvature disorder of amplitude σ(o) and Hurst exponent H > 1/2, characterized by a "static" persistence length ℓ(p)(H) = A(1/2H)σ(o)(-1/H) Γ(1/2H + 1), can be described by a continuum of generalized WLC (GWLC) models parametrized by the LRC exponent H. We use perturbation analysis to investigate the two limiting cases of weak static disorder (w(H) < 1 and weak dynamical fluctuations (1/w (H) < 1), where w(H) = l(p)(d)/l(p)(H) is a dimensionless parameter. From a quantitative point of view, our study demonstrates that even for a small value of the LRC (H approximately equal 0.6-0.8) static disorder amplitude σ(o) ~ 10(-2), as previously reported for genomic DNA, the decrease of the persistence length from the WLC prediction l(p)(d) can be very significant, up to twofold. The implications of these results on the first steps of compaction of DNA in eukaryotic cells are discussed.
The European Physical Journal E 11/2011; 34(11):119. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whereas the morphogenesis of developing organisms is relatively well understood at the molecular level, the contribution of the mechanical properties of the cells to shape changes remains largely unknown, mainly because of the lack of quantified biophysical parameters at cellular or subcellular resolution. Here we designed an atomic force microscopy approach to investigate the elastic modulus of the outer cell wall in living shoot apical meristems (SAMs). SAMs are highly organized structures that contain the plant stem cells, and generate all of the aerial organs of the plant. Building on modeling and experimental data, we designed a protocol that is able to measure very local properties, i.e. within 40-100 nm deep into the wall of living meristematic cells. We identified three levels of complexity at the meristem surface, with significant heterogeneity in stiffness at regional, cellular and even subcellular levels. Strikingly, we found that the outer cell wall was much stiffer at the tip of the meristem (5 ± 2 MPa on average), covering the stem cell pool, than on the flanks of the meristem (1.5 ± 0.7 MPa on average). Altogether, these results demonstrate the existence of a multiscale spatialization of the mechanical properties of the meristem surface, in addition to the previously established molecular and cytological zonation of the SAM, correlating with regional growth rate distribution.
The Plant Journal 05/2011; 67(6):1116-23. · 6.58 Impact Factor