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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Mar;2(3):a003889. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a003889.

Chromosome territories.

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  • 1Biozentrum, Department of Biology II, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Grosshadernerstrasse 2, 82152 Martinsried, Germany. thomas.cremer@lrz.uni-muenchen.de


Chromosome territories (CTs) constitute a major feature of nuclear architecture. In a brief statement, the possible contribution of nuclear architecture studies to the field of epigenomics is considered, followed by a historical account of the CT concept and the final compelling experimental evidence of a territorial organization of chromosomes in all eukaryotes studied to date. Present knowledge of nonrandom CT arrangements, of the internal CT architecture, and of structural interactions with other CTs is provided as well as the dynamics of CT arrangements during cell cycle and postmitotic terminal differentiation. The article concludes with a discussion of open questions and new experimental strategies to answer them.

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