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Cell. 2007 Feb 23;128(4):787-800.

Beyond the sequence: cellular organization of genome function.

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National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Genomes are more than linear sequences. In vivo they exist as elaborate physical structures, and their functional properties are strongly determined by their cellular organization. I discuss here the functional relevance of spatial and temporal genome organization at three hierarchical levels: the organization of nuclear processes, the higher-order organization of the chromatin fiber, and the spatial arrangement of genomes within the cell nucleus. Recent insights into the cell biology of genomes have overturned long-held dogmas and have led to new models for many essential cellular processes, including gene expression and genome stability.

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