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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Apr;16(4):245-57. doi: 10.1038/nrm3965. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Three-dimensional genome architecture: players and mechanisms.

Author information

Epigenetic Regulation and Chromatin Architecture Group, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert Roessle Strasse, 13125 Berlin-Buch, Germany.
Gene Regulation and Chromatin Group, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.

Erratum in

  • Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Sep;16(9):576.


The different cell types of an organism share the same DNA, but during cell differentiation their genomes undergo diverse structural and organizational changes that affect gene expression and other cellular functions. These can range from large-scale folding of whole chromosomes or of smaller genomic regions, to the re-organization of local interactions between enhancers and promoters, mediated by the binding of transcription factors and chromatin looping. The higher-order organization of chromatin is also influenced by the specificity of the contacts that it makes with nuclear structures such as the lamina. Sophisticated methods for mapping chromatin contacts are generating genome-wide data that provide deep insights into the formation of chromatin interactions, and into their roles in the organization and function of the eukaryotic cell nucleus.

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