Chromatin domains in higher eukaryotes: insights from genome-wide mapping studies

Chromosoma. 2009 Feb;118(1):25-36. doi: 10.1007/s00412-008-0186-0. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


In genomes of higher eukaryotes, adjacent genes often show coordinated regulation of their expression. Compartmentalization of multiple neighboring genes into a shared chromatin environment can facilitate this coordinated expression. New mapping techniques have begun to reveal that such multigene chromatin domains are a common feature of fly and mammalian genomes. Many different types of chromatin domains have been identified based on the genomic binding patterns of various proteins and histone modifications. In addition, maps of genome-nuclear lamina associations and of looping interactions between loci provide the first systematic views of the three-dimensional folding of interphase chromosomes. These genome-wide datasets uncover new architectural principles of eukaryotic genomes and indicate that multigene chromatin domains are prevalent and important regulatory units.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • DNA Replication
  • Eukaryotic Cells*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome, Human
  • Heterochromatin
  • Humans


  • Chromatin
  • Heterochromatin