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Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Mar;17(3):127-34. Epub 2007 Jan 2.

Chromosome organization: new facts, new models.

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MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN, UK. <>


The study of nuclear organization has radically changed the way we envision gene regulation, imposing a paradigm shift from a seemingly featureless nucleus to a highly compartmentalized and complex organelle. The positioning of genes, regulatory sequences and transcription factors in relation to each other and to landmarks in the nucleus, such as nuclear bodies and the lamina, is important in determining which genes are transcribed at any one time. Investigating chromatin organization during interphase is therefore essential to the understanding of gene expression. The recent discovery of interactions between distal chromatin segments that occur within the same chromosome or across different chromosomes, and that have a role in transcription regulation, suggests a re-evaluation of current models of chromosome organization and the development of new ones.

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