The genome and the nucleus: a marriage made by evolution. Genome organisation and nuclear architecture

Helen A Foster, Joanna M Bridger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


Genomes are housed within cell nuclei as individual chromosome territories. Nuclei contain several architectural structures that interact and influence the genome. In this review, we discuss how the genome may be organised within its nuclear environment with the position of chromosomes inside nuclei being either influenced by gene density or by chromosomes size. We compare interphase genome organisation in diverse species and reveal similarities and differences between evolutionary divergent organisms. Genome organisation is also discussed with relevance to regulation of gene expression, development and differentiation and asks whether large movements of whole chromosomes are really observed during differentiation. Literature and data describing alterations to genome organisation in disease are also discussed. Further, the nuclear structures that are involved in genome function are described, with reference to what happens to the genome when these structures contain protein from mutant genes as in the laminopathies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-29
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Nucleus/genetics
  • Chromatin/genetics
  • Chromosomes/genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn/genetics
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Mammals


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