Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 302–312 | Cite as

Structural–Functional Domains of the Eukaryotic Genome



It is well known that DNA folding in the eukaryotic cell nucleus is tightly coupled with the operation of epigenetic mechanisms defining the repertoires of the genes expressed in different types of cells. To understand these mechanisms, it is important to know how DNA is packaged in chromatin. About 30 years ago a hypothesis was formulated, according to which epigenetic mechanisms operate not at the level of individual genes, but rather groups of genes localized in structurally and functionally isolated genomic segments that were called structural and functional domains. The question of what exactly these domains constitute has been re-examined multiple times as our knowledge of principles of chromatin folding has changed. In this review, we discuss structural and functional genomic domains in light of the current model of interphase chromosome organization based on the results of analysis of spatial proximity between remote genomic elements.


chromatin cell nucleus topologically associating domain Hi-C noncoding RNA gene activation 



enhancer RNA


high-throughput chromosome conformation capture


topologically asso-ciating domain


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Gene BiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityBiological FacultyMoscowRussia

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