Strong interactions between highly dynamic lamina-associated domains and the nuclear envelope stabilize the 3D architecture of Drosophila interphase chromatin


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Background Interactions among topologically associating domains (TADs), and between the nuclear envelope (NE) and lamina-associated domains (LADs) are expected to shape various aspects of three-dimensional (3D) chromatin structure and dynamics; however, relevant genome-wide experiments that may provide statistically significant conclusions remain difficult.

            We have developed a coarse-grained dynamical model of D. melanogaster nuclei at TAD resolution that explicitly accounts for four distinct epigenetic classes of TADs and LAD–NE interactions. The model is parameterized to reproduce the experimental Hi-C map of the wild type (WT) nuclei; it describes time evolution of the chromatin over the G1 phase of the interphase. The simulations include an ensemble of nuclei, corresponding to the experimentally observed set of several possible mutual arrangements of chromosomal arms. The model is validated against multiple structural features of chromatin from several different experiments not used in model development. Predicted positioning of all LADs at the NE is highly dynamic—the same LAD can attach, detach and move far away from the NE multiple times during interphase. The probabilities of LADs to be in contact with the NE vary by an order of magnitude, despite all having the same affinity to the NE in the model. These probabilities are mostly determined by a highly variable local linear density of LADs along the genome, which also has the same strong effect on the predicted  positioning of individual TADs -- higher probability of a TAD to be near NE is largely determined by a higher linear density of LADs surrounding this TAD. The distribution of LADs along the chromosome chains plays a notable role in maintaining a non-random average global structure of chromatin. Relatively high affinity of LADs to the NE in the WT nuclei substantially reduces sensitivity of the global radial chromatin distribution to variations in the strength of TAD–TAD interactions compared to the lamin depleted nuclei, where a small (0.5 kT) increase of cross-type TAD–TAD interactions doubles the chromatin density in the central nucleus region.

            A dynamical model of the entire fruit fly genome makes multiple genome-wide predictions of biological interest. The distribution of LADs along the chromatin chains affects their probabilities to be in contact with the NE and radial positioning of highly mobile TADs, playing a notable role in creating a non-random average global structure of the chromatin. We conjecture that an important role of attractive LAD–NE interactions is to stabilize global chromatin structure against inevitable cell-to-cell variations in TAD–TAD interactions.




Epigenetics & Chromatin. 2023 May 30;16(1):21