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The 3-dimensional conformation of the genome

The 3-dimensional (3D) topology of the genome contributes to the regulation of cell- and time-specific gene expression. Some aspects of 3D genome conformation are developmentally regulated – that is, regulated in a 4-dimensional space where the 4th component is time. 3D genome conformation involves intra-chromosomal interactions forming topological domains. At the nuclear periphery, chromosomes interact with the nuclear lamina through lamin-associated domains (LADs).

Section of a cell nucleus with chromatin organized in TADs, each chromosome with a separate colour.

Chromatin is folded dynamically inside the nucleus, changing its conformation as cells divide and differentiate. The spheres in this image represent topologically associating domains (TADs), which can interact to form cliques that seem to stabilize heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery.

About the project

We are studying how topological domains and LADs, as genomic organizers, shape higher-order spatial genome topologies.

Ongoing research

  • Computational methods for 3D and 4D modeling of genome architecture
  • Functional relationship between 3D chromatin folding, radial positioning of chromatin, epigenetic states and lineage-specific differentiation

Outcomes / Recent findings


The University of Oslo, The Research Council of Norway, The Norwegian Cancer Society.


  • David Tremethick, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Lee Wong, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
  • Steven Turner, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
  • Ashby Morrison, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Published May 28, 2019 8:33 AM - Last modified Jan. 10, 2022 2:24 PM