A polymer physics model to dissect genome organization in healthy and pathological phenotypes


  • M. Conte
  • L. Fiorillo
  • S. Bianco
  • A.M. Chiariello
  • A. Esposito
  • F. Musella
  • F. Flora
  • A. Abraham
  • M. Nicodemi


  • Methods in Molecular Biology


  • Methods Mol Biol 2301: 307-316


  • Novel technologies revealed a nontrivial spatial organization of the chromosomes within the cell nucleus, which includes different levels of compartmentalization and architectural patterns. Notably, such complex three-dimensional structure plays a crucial role in vital biological functions and its alterations can produce extensive rewiring of genomic regulatory regions, thus leading to gene misexpression and disease. Here, we show that theoretical and computational approaches, based on polymer physics, can be employed to dissect chromatin contacts in three-dimensional space and to predict the effects of pathogenic structural variants on the genome architecture. In particular, we discuss the folding of the human EPHA4 and the murine Pitx1 loci as case studies.