, Volume 114, Issue 4, pp 212–229 | Cite as

The genome and the nucleus: a marriage made by evolution

Genome organisation and nuclear architecture
  • Helen A. Foster
  • Joanna M. Bridger


Genomes are housed within cell nuclei as individual chromosome territories. Nuclei contain several architectural structures that interact and influence the genome. In this review, we discuss how the genome may be organised within its nuclear environment with the position of chromosomes inside nuclei being either influenced by gene density or by chromosomes size. We compare interphase genome organisation in diverse species and reveal similarities and differences between evolutionary divergent organisms. Genome organisation is also discussed with relevance to regulation of gene expression, development and differentiation and asks whether large movements of whole chromosomes are really observed during differentiation. Literature and data describing alterations to genome organisation in disease are also discussed. Further, the nuclear structures that are involved in genome function are described, with reference to what happens to the genome when these structures contain protein from mutant genes as in the laminopathies.


Genome Organisation Nuclear Matrix Interphase Nucleus Chromosome Position Nuclear Periphery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Nuclear and Genomic Health, Cell and Chromosome Biology Group, Division of Biosciences, School of Health Sciences and Social CareBrunel UniversityUxbridgeUK

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