Chromosomal domains: epigenetic contexts and functional implications of genomic compartmentalization

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Apr;23(2):197-203. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2012.12.009. Epub 2013 Feb 14.


We review recent developments in mapping chromosomal contacts and compare emerging insights on chromosomal contact domain organization in Drosophila and mammalian cells. Potential scenarios leading to the observation of Hi-C domains and their association with the epigenomic context of the chromosomal elements involved are discussed. We argue that even though the mechanisms and precise physical structure underlying chromosomal domain demarcation are yet to be fully resolved, the implications to genome regulation and genome evolution are profound. Specifically, we hypothesize that domains are facilitating genomic compartmentalization that support the implementation of complex, modular, and tissue specific transcriptional program in metazoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Structures / genetics
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome*
  • Genomics
  • Humans