Volume 63, Number 6, September 2003
|Page(s)||908 - 914|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||01 November 2003|
Individual chromosomes as viscoelastic copolymers
Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, UMR 5588, Université Joseph Fourier Saint-Martin, d'Hères, France
2 Institut Albert Bonniot, Unité INSERM 309 - La Tronche, France
3 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 11 July 2003
We report elastic measurements of individual chromosomes observed in vitro. Free fluctuations of shapes show that a chromosome can be seen as a copolymer, exhibiting rigid regions alternating with semi-flexible regions. We characterize this behavior and compare it with known biopolymers. We further show that the inner part of a chromosome exhibits viscoelasticity, as extracted by the loading rate dependence of the stretch modulus. Taken together, these data suggest an organization for the chromosome as a copolymer composed of an inner rigid core exhibiting viscoelasticity surrounded by an elastic soft envelope.
PACS: 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties / 82.35.Lr – Physical properties of polymers / 83.60.Bc – Linear viscoelasticity
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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