Heterogeneity in the kinetics of nuclear proteins and trajectories of substructures associated with heterochromatin
Background: Protein exchange kinetics correlate with the level of chromatin condensation and, in many cases, with the level of transcription. We used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) to analyse the kinetics of 18 proteins and determine the relationships between nuclear arrangement, protein molecular weight, global transcription level, and recovery kinetics. In particular, we studied heterochromatin-specific heterochromatin protein 1 beta (HP1 beta) B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (BMI1), and telomeric-repeat binding factor 1 (TRF1) proteins, and nucleolus-related proteins, upstream binding factor (UBF) and RNA polymerase I large subunit (RPA194). We considered whether the trajectories and kinetics of particular proteins change in response to histone hyperacetylation by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors or after suppression of transcription by actinomycin D. Results: We show that protein dynamics are influenced by many factors and events, including nuclear pattern and transcription activity. A slower recovery after photobleaching was found when proteins, such as HP1b, BMI1, TRF1, and others accumulated at specific foci. In identical cells, proteins that were evenly dispersed throughout the nucleoplasm recovered more rapidly. Distinct trajectories for HP1b, BMI1, and TRF1 were observed after hyperacetylation or suppression of transcription. The relationship between protein trajectory and transcription level was confirmed for telomeric protein TRF1, but not for HP1b or BMI1 proteins. Moreover, heterogeneity of foci movement was especially observed when we made distinctions between centrally and peripherally positioned foci. Conclusion: Based on our results, we propose that protein kinetics are likely influenced by several factors, including chromatin condensation, differentiation, local protein density, protein binding efficiency, and nuclear pattern. These factors and events likely cooperate to dictate the mobility of particular proteins.