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Title: Quantitative Methods to Investigate the 4D Dynamics of Heterochromatic Repair Sites in Drosophila Cells
Heterochromatin is mostly composed of long stretches of repeated DNA sequences prone to ectopic recombination during double-strand break (DSB) repair. In Drosophila, “safe” homologous recombination (HR) repair of heterochromatic DSBs relies on a striking relocalization of repair sites to the nuclear periphery. Central to understanding heterochromatin repair is the ability to investigate the 4D dynamics (movement in space and time) of repair sites. A specific challenge of these studies is preventing phototoxicity and photobleaching effects while imaging the sample over long periods of time, and with sufficient time points and Z-stacks to track repair foci over time. Here we describe an optimized approach for high-resolution live imaging of heterochromatic DSBs in Drosophila cells, with a specific emphasis on the fluorescent markers and imaging setup used to capture the motion of repair foci over long-time periods. We detail approaches that minimize photobleaching and phototoxicity with a DeltaVision widefield deconvolution microscope, and image processing techniques for signal recovery postimaging using SoftWorX and Imaris software. We present a method to derive mean square displacement curves revealing some of the biophysical properties of the motion. Finally, we describe a method in R to identify tracts of directed motions (DMs) in mixed trajectories. These approaches more » enable a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of heterochromatin dynamics and genome stability in the three-dimensional context of the nucleus and have broad applicability in the field of nuclear dynamics. « less
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Methods in enzymology
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National Science Foundation
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