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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Oct;40(18):8783-92. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks586. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

A fractal model for nuclear organization: current evidence and biological implications.

Author information

1
CNRS, LAAS, 7 avenue du colonel Roche, Toulouse F-31077, France. abancaud@laas.fr

Abstract

Chromatin is a multiscale structure on which transcription, replication, recombination and repair of the genome occur. To fully understand any of these processes at the molecular level under physiological conditions, a clear picture of the polymorphic and dynamic organization of chromatin in the eukaryotic nucleus is required. Recent studies indicate that a fractal model of chromatin architecture is consistent with both the reaction-diffusion properties of chromatin interacting proteins and with structural data on chromatin interminglement. In this study, we provide a critical overview of the experimental evidence that support a fractal organization of chromatin. On this basis, we discuss the functional implications of a fractal chromatin model for biological processes and propose future experiments to probe chromatin organization further that should allow to strongly support or invalidate the fractal hypothesis.

PMID:
22790985
PMCID:
PMC3467038
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gks586
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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