The last decade has radically renewed our understanding of higher order chromatin folding in the eukaryotic nucleus. As a result, most current models are in support of a mostly hierarchical and relatively stable folding of chromosomes dividing chromosomal territories into A- (active) and B- (inactive) compartments, which are then further partitioned into topologically associating domains (TADs), each of which is made up from multiple loops stabilized mainly by the CTCF and cohesin chromatin-binding complexes. Nonetheless, the structure-to-function relationship of eukaryotic genomes is still not well understood. Here, we focus on recent work highlighting the biophysical and regulatory forces that contribute to the spatial organization of genomes, and we propose that the various conformations that chromatin assumes are not so much the result of a linear hierarchy, but rather of both converging and conflicting dynamic forces that act on it.

Additional Metadata
Keywords chromatin, phase separation, RNA polymerase, TAD (topologically associating domain), transcription factor
Persistent URL,
Journal Molecular Systems Biology
Rada-Iglesias, A. (Alvaro), Grosveld, F.G, & Papantonis, A. (2018). Forces driving the three-dimensional folding of eukaryotic genomes. Molecular Systems Biology (Vol. 14). doi:10.15252/msb.20188214