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Radiation Induced Chromatin Conformation Changes Analysed by Fluorescent Localization Microscopy, Statistical Physics, and Graph Theory

Fig 10

Cluster analysis of the spatial distribution of heterochromatin and euchromatin after irradiation with 0.5 Gy and 3.5 Gy.

The analysis was performed on non-irradiated samples, and on samples fixed 6 h and 24 h post irradiation, respectively. Panel A present the behaviour of heterochromatic regions irradiated with 0.5 Gy and 3.5 Gy. We observe a decrease in the ratio of the clustered points 6 h after irradiation for both doses. 24 h after irradiation these changes are reverted. This means that a few hours after irradiation the heterochromatin decondenses and after one day the decondensation is reverted. Panel B shows the cluster analysis result for euchromatin. These regions behave differently, compared to heterochromatin. For 0.5 Gy, the number of clustered points is increased after 6 h, and the trend continues at the 24 h timestamp. However, for 3.5 Gy, after the initial increase in the percentage of clustered points at 6 h, the ratio drops again in the 24 h measurements. The interpretation of the increase/decrease in the number of clustered points is similar in this case: when the ratio increases, the studied domains condense, when the ratio decreases, the domains relax. This means, that heterochromatin and euchromatin react to irradiation in an opposite way: This analysis, in accordance with the other results, indicates that while heterochromatin opens up soon after irradiation, euchromatin condensates. Given enough time, these processes are reverted in both cases.

Fig 10

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128555.g010