Nature 447, 413-417 (24 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05916; Published online 23 May 2007

Nuclear organization of the genome and the potential for gene regulation

Peter Fraser1 & Wendy Bickmore2


Much work has been published on the cis-regulatory elements that affect gene function locally, as well as on the biochemistry of the transcription factors and chromatin- and histone-modifying complexes that influence gene expression. However, surprisingly little information is available about how these components are organized within the three-dimensional space of the nucleus. Technological advances are now helping to identify the spatial relationships and interactions of genes and regulatory elements in the nucleus and are revealing an unexpectedly extensive network of communication within and between chromosomes. A crucial unresolved issue is the extent to which this organization affects gene function, rather than just reflecting it.

  1. Laboratory of Chromatin and Gene Expression, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK.
  2. MRC Human Genetics Unit, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK.


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