Beyond the sequence: cellular organization of genome function

Cell. 2007 Feb 23;128(4):787-800. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.01.028.


Genomes are more than linear sequences. In vivo they exist as elaborate physical structures, and their functional properties are strongly determined by their cellular organization. I discuss here the functional relevance of spatial and temporal genome organization at three hierarchical levels: the organization of nuclear processes, the higher-order organization of the chromatin fiber, and the spatial arrangement of genomes within the cell nucleus. Recent insights into the cell biology of genomes have overturned long-held dogmas and have led to new models for many essential cellular processes, including gene expression and genome stability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Genomic Instability / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Stochastic Processes


  • Chromatin