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Cell Cycle. 2004 Mar;3(3):273-5. Epub 2004 Mar 1.

Genome organization in three dimensions: thinking outside the line.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0606, USA.


Gene organization on nuclear chromosomes is usually depicted as a linear array, but at least some regions of the genome are localized to specific subnuclear positions in interphase nuclei. Studies in yeast have found that centromeres and telomeres are found around the nuclear periphery, and that tRNA genes are gathered at the nucleolus, along with the ribosomal RNA gene cluster. These 325 loci alone impose significant constraints on the three dimensional organization of chromosomes in the nucleus, and there is mounting experimental evidence that transcription by RNA polymerase II is strongly affected by proximity to these regions. Given these observations, one consideration in understanding nuclear gene regulation might be the degree to which spatial positioning affects at least a subset of gene families.

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