Cajal Body dynamics and association with chromatin are ATP-dependent


Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear organelles that contain factors required for splicing, ribosome biogenesis and transcription. Our previous analysis in living cells showed that CBs are dynamic structures. Here, we show that CB mobility is described by anomalous diffusion and that bodies alternate between association with chromatin and diffusion within the interchromatin space. CB mobility increases after ATP depletion and inhibition of transcription, suggesting that the association of CB and chromatin requires ATP and active transcription. This behaviour is fundamentally different from the ATP-dependent mobility observed for chromatin and suggests that a novel mechanism governs CB, and possibly other, nuclear body dynamics.

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Figure 1: CB movement and its relation to chromatin.
Figure 2: Different types of CB movement in live HeLaGFP–coilin cells.
Figure 3: The mobility of CBs within the interchromatin space is dependent on ATP.
Figure 4: ATP depletion and transcriptional inhibition affect the mobility of CBs.
Figure 5: Anomalous diffusion of CBs requires ongoing transcription and energy.
Figure 6: CB mobility is dependent on protein synthesis and nuclear export.


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We thank M. Saxton for discussions on anomalous diffusion, members of the Lamond lab and P. Nero for helpful discussions. We thank M. Sanders and P. Crews for supplying the latrunculin A preparation, which was supported by National Institutes of Health grant CA47135 to P. Crews. M.P. was supported by a Dame Catherine Cookson studentship and a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Studentship. A.I.L. is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. J.R.S. is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow (054333).

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Correspondence to Jason R. Swedlow.

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Platani, M., Goldberg, I., Lamond, A. et al. Cajal Body dynamics and association with chromatin are ATP-dependent. Nat Cell Biol 4, 502–508 (2002).

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