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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Impact-faktor: 1.841 5-jähriger Impact-Faktor: 1.927 SJR: 0.649 SNIP: 0.516 CiteScore™: 1.96

ISSN Druckformat: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukarGeneExpr.v9.i3-4.50
pages 203-212

Nuclear Structure, Gene Expression and Development

Karen Brown
MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 ONN, United Kingdom


This article considers the extent to which features of nuclear structure are involved in the regulation of genome function. The recent renaissance in imaging technology has inspired a new determination to assign specific functions to nuclear domains or structures, many of which have been described as "factories" to express the idea that they coordinate nuclear processes in an efficient way. Visual data have been combined with genetic and biochemical information to support the idea that nuclear organization has functional significance. Particular DNA sequences or chromatin structures may nucleate domains that are permissive or restrictive of transcription, to which active or inactive loci could be recruited. Associations within the nucleus, as well as many nuclear structures, are transient and change dynamically during cell cycle progression and development. Despite this complexity, elucidation of the possible structural basis of epigenetic phenomena, such as the inheritance of a "cellular memory" of gene expression status, is an important goal for cell biology.
Topics for discussion include the regulatory effect of chromatin structure on gene expression, putative "nuclear addresses" for genes and proteins, the functional significance of nuclear bodies, and the role of the nuclear matrix in nuclear compartmentalization.

SCHLÜSSELWÖRTER: nucleus, transcription, chromatin.