Progress in fluorescence in situ hybridization, three dimensional microscopy and image analysis has provided the means to study the three-dimensional structure and distribution of chromosome territories within the cell nucleus. In this contribution, we summarize the present state of knowledge of the territorial organization of interphase chromosomes and their topological relationships with other macromolecular domains in the human cell nucleus, and present data from computer simulations of chromosome territory distributions. On this basis, we discuss models of chromosome territory and nuclear architecture and topological consequences for the formation of chromosome exchanges. 'The idea of the nucleus as a bag of broken chromosome ends flapping around seeking new partners...seems no longer to be tenable from our picture of the interphase nucleus' (J.R.K. Savage, 1990).
ASJC Scopus subject areas