Crowding-induced structural alterations of random-loop chromosome model

Jun Soo Kim, Vadim Backman, Igal Szleifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We investigate structural alterations of random-loop polymers due to changes in the crowding condition, as a model to study environmental effects on the structure of chromosome subcompartments. The polymer structure is changed in a nonmonotonic fashion with an increasing density of crowders: condensed at small volume fractions; decondensed at high crowding volume fractions. The nonmonotonic behavior is a manifestation of the nontrivial distance dependence of the depletion interactions. We also show that crowding-induced structural alterations affect the access of binding proteins to the surface of polymer segments and are distinguished from structural changes due to the increased number of specific polymer loops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2011


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