2Novosibirsk State University, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
Received November 14, 2017; Revision received December 3, 2017
Drosophila polytene chromosomes are widely used as a model of eukaryotic interphase chromosomes. The most noticeable feature of polytene chromosome is transverse banding associated with alternation of dense stripes (dark or black bands) and light diffuse areas that encompass alternating less compact gray bands and interbands visible with an electron microscope. In recent years, several approaches have been developed to predict location of morphological structures of polytene chromosomes based on the distribution of proteins on the molecular map of Drosophila genome. Comparison of these structures with the results of analysis of the three-dimensional chromatin organization by the Hi-C method indicates that the morphology of polytene chromosomes represents direct visualization of the interphase nucleus spatial organization into topological domains. Compact black bands correspond to the extended topological domains of inactive chromatin, while interbands are the barriers between the adjacent domains. Here, we discuss the prospects of using polytene chromosomes to study mechanisms of spatial organization of interphase chromosomes, as well as their dynamics and evolution.
KEY WORDS: polytene chromosomes, topologically associating domain, TADs, spatial organization of interphase chromosome, 3D chromatin organization, interband, Hi-C