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Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;16(1):19-26. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Subnuclear organelles: new insights into form and function.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


The cell nucleus is a complex and highly dynamic environment with many functionally specialized regions of substructure that form and maintain themselves in the absence of membranes. Relatively little is known about the basic physical properties of the nuclear interior or how domains within the nucleus are structurally and functionally organized and interrelated. Here, we summarize recent data that shed light on the structural and functional properties of three prominent subnuclear organelles--nucleoli, Cajal bodies (CBs) and speckles. We discuss how these findings impact our understanding of the guiding principles of nuclear organization and various types of human disease.

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