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FEBS Lett. 2015 Oct 7;589(20 Pt A):2877-84. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2015.08.044. Epub 2015 Sep 5.

Structural and functional diversity of Topologically Associating Domains.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Program in Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 368 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA. Electronic address:
Institut Curie, CNRS UMR3215, INSERM U934, 26 Rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France. Electronic address:


Recent studies have shown that chromosomes in a range of organisms are compartmentalized in different types of chromatin domains. In mammals, chromosomes form compartments that are composed of smaller Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). TADs are thought to represent functional domains of gene regulation but much is still unknown about the mechanisms of their formation and how they exert their regulatory effect on embedded genes. Further, similar domains have been detected in other organisms, including flies, worms, fungi and bacteria. Although in all these cases these domains appear similar as detected by 3C-based methods, their biology appears to be quite distinct with differences in the protein complexes involved in their formation and differences in their internal organization. Here we outline our current understanding of such domains in different organisms and their roles in gene regulation.


Chromatin folding; Long-range gene regulation; Topologically associating domain

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