Body Maps on the Human Genome

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2010-12-01
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Cherniak, Christopher
Rodriguez-Esteban, Raul
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Abstract
The human genome possesses large-scale structure: In particular, body tissue genes map somatotopically onto the complete chromosome set. The synoptic picture is that genes highly expressed in particular tissues are not randomly distributed on the genome. Rather, they form a "genome homunculus": a multi-dimensional, genome-wide body representation extending across chromosome territories (each chromosome's preferred nucleus locale) of the entire spermcell nucleus. The antero-posterior axis of the body corresponds to the head-tail axis of the nucleus, and the dorso-ventral body axis to the central-peripheral nucleus axis. Somatotopic maps in cerebral cortex have been reported for over a century. This pervasive genome mapping merits further attention.
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