The expression of genes is regulated at many levels. Perhaps the area in which least is known is how nuclear organization influences gene expression. Studies of higher-order chromatin arrangements and their dynamic interactions with other nuclear components have been boosted by recent technical advances. The emerging view is that chromosomes are compartmentalized into discrete territories. The location of a gene within a chromosome territory seems to influence its access to the machinery responsible for specific nuclear functions, such as transcription and splicing. This view is consistent with a topological model for gene regulation.