The 3D Genome as Moderator of Chromosomal Communication

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Systems Biology; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry | Biophysics | Computational Biology | Genomics | Molecular Biology | Structural Biology | Systems Biology


Proper expression of genes requires communication with their regulatory elements that can be located elsewhere along the chromosome. The physics of chromatin fibers imposes a range of constraints on such communication. The molecular and biophysical mechanisms by which chromosomal communication is established, or prevented, have become a topic of intense study, and important roles for the spatial organization of chromosomes are being discovered. Here we present a view of the interphase 3D genome characterized by extensive physical compartmentalization and insulation on the one hand and facilitated long-range interactions on the other. We propose the existence of topological machines dedicated to set up and to exploit a 3D genome organization to both promote and censor communication along and between chromosomes.


CTCF, Hi-C, biophysics, cohesin, condensin, domains, enhancer, gene expression, gene regulation, polymers, promoter, simulations

DOI of Published Version



Cell. 2016 Mar 10;164(6):1110-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.007. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID