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J Cell Biochem. 1991 Dec;47(4):311-6.

The nucleus: a black box being opened.

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E.C. Slater Institute for Biochemical Research, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Until recently our knowledge about the structural and functional organization of the cell nucleus was very limited. Recent technical developments in the field of ultrastructural analysis, combined with ongoing research on the properties of the nuclear matrix, give new insight into how the nucleus is structured. Two types of observations shape our ideas about nuclear organization. First, most nuclear functions (replication, transcription, RNA processing, and RNA transport) are highly localized within the nucleus, rather than diffusely distributed. Moreover, they are associated with the nuclear matrix. Second, chromatin is organized in discrete loops, bordered by nuclear matrix attachment sequences (MARs). Each loop may contain one or several genes. The arrangement of chromatin in loops has profound consequences for the regulation of gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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