Since the advent of FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization), there have been major advances in our understanding of how the genome is organized in interphase nuclei. Indeed, this organization is found to be non-random and individual chromosomes occupy discrete regions known as territories. Determining the factors that drive the spatial positioning of these territories within nuclei has caused much debate; however, in proliferating cells, there is evidently a correlation between radial positioning and gene density. Indeed, gene-poor chromosomes tend to be located towards the nuclear edge, while those that are more gene-rich are positioned more internally. These observations pose a number of questions: first, what is the function of this global organization and, secondly, is it representative of that occurring at a more local scale? During the course of this review, these questions will be considered, in light of the current literature regarding the role of transcription factories and the nuclear matrix in interphase genome organization.

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