Chromatin at the nuclear periphery and the regulation of genome functions

Histochem Cell Biol. 2015 Aug;144(2):111-22. doi: 10.1007/s00418-015-1346-y. Epub 2015 Jul 14.


Chromatin is not randomly organized in the nucleus, and its spatial organization participates in the regulation of genome functions. However, this spatial organization is also not entirely fixed and modifications of chromatin architecture are implicated in physiological processes such as differentiation or senescence. One of the most striking features of chromatin architecture is the concentration of heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery. A closer examination of the association of chromatin at the nuclear periphery reveals that heterochromatin accumulates at the nuclear lamina, whereas nuclear pores are usually devoid of heterochromatin. After summarizing the current techniques used to study the attachment of chromatin at the nuclear lamina or the nuclear pores, we review the mechanisms underlying these attachments, their plasticity and their consequences on the regulation of gene expression, DNA repair and replication.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Lamina / genetics
  • Nuclear Lamina / metabolism
  • Nuclear Pore / genetics
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism


  • Chromatin