Chromatin organization by repetitive elements (CORE): A genomic principle for the higher-order structure of chromosomes

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Eukaryotic genomes contain a large amount of DNA repeats (also known as repetitive DNA, repetitive elements, and repetitive sequences). Here, I propose a role of repetitive DNA in the formation of higher-order structures of chromosomes. The central idea of this theory is that chromatin regions with repetitive sequences pair with regions harboring homologous repeats and that such somatic repeat pairing (RP) assembles repetitive DNA chromatin into compact chromosomal domains that specify chromatin folding in a site-directed manner. According to this theory, DNA repeats are not randomly distributed in the genome. Instead, they form a core framework that coordinates the architecture of chromosomes. In contrast to the viewpoint that DNA repeats are genomic 'junk', this theory advocates that repetitive sequences are chromatin organizer modules that determine chromatin-chromatin contact points within chromosomes. This novel concept, if correct, would suggest that DNA repeats in the linear genome encode a blueprint for higher-order chromosomal organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Chromatin
  • Chromosome
  • DNA repeat
  • Repetitive DNA
  • Repetitive element
  • Repetitive sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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