flipping away
The meters of DNA in eukaryotic organisms are tightly packed into a higher-order structure called chromatin in order to fit in the tiny nucleus. The basic compaction unit of this condensed structure is a DNA-protein complex termed nucleosome which consists of a small piece of DNA wrapped around a core of so-called histone proteins. Besides packaging DNA, nucleosomes also play an essential role in the regulation of important nuclear processes such as transcription, replication and repair by controlling DNA accessibility. In this context nucleosomes are both highly ordered and dynamic as a result from the interplay between different processes such as DNA sequence-dependent positioning, thermal motion, remodeling and histone modifications in forms of different variants or posttranslational modifications. Using magnetic tweezers, we are investigating nucleosome structure and dynamics at single-molecule level.

Researchers currently involved in the project

  • Orkide Ordu
  • Artur Kaczmarczyk


  • John van Noort Lab (Leiden University)
  • Alexandra Lusser Lab (University of Innsbruck Medical School)

Publications specific to this project

Artur Kaczmarczyk, Thomas B. Brouwer, Chi Pham, Nynke H. Dekker, and John van Noort
Methods for probing chromatin structure with magnetic tweezers
Methods in Molecular Biology, in press (2018)

O. Ordu, L. Kremser, A. Lusser, and N.H. Dekker
Modification of the Histone Tetramer at the H3-H3 Interface Impacts Tetrasome Conformations and Dynamics
Journal of Chemical Physics, published online January (2018)

Artur Kaczmarczyk, Abdollah Allahverdi, Thomas Brouwer, Lars Nordenskiöld, Nynke H. Dekker, and John van Noort
Single-molecule force spectroscopy on H4 tail cross-linked chromatin reveals fiber folding
Journal of Biological Chemistry 292(42), 17506–17513 (2017)

O. Ordu, A. Lusser, and N.H. Dekker
Recent insights from single-molecule studies into nucleosome structure and dynamics
Biophysical Reviews, online publication October 16 (2016) PDF

R. Vlijm, M. Lee, O. Ordu, A. Boltengagen, A. Lusser, N.H. Dekker, and C. Dekker
Comparing the assembly and handedness dynamics of (H3.3-H4)2 tetrasomes to canonical tetrasomes
Plos One, online publication October 28 (2015) PDF

R. Vlijm*, M. Lee*, J. Lipfert, A. Lusser, C. Dekker, and N.H. Dekker
Nucleosome assembly dynamics involve spontaneous fluctuations in the handedness of tetrasomes
Cell Reports, online publication Jan. 8 (2015) PDF Extended PDF
(*=equal contribution)