Genome organization and the three-dimensional folding of chromosomes are now seen as major contributors to nearly all nuclear functions including gene regulation, replication and repair. Recent studies have shown that in addition to the dramatic metamorphoses in chromosome conformation associated with entry to, and exit from mitosis, chromosomes undergo continual conformational changes throughout interphase with differential dynamics in loop structure, topological domains, compartments and lamina-associated domains. Understanding and accounting for these cell-cycle-dependent conformational changes is essential for the interpretation of data from a growing array of powerful molecular techniques to investigate genome conformation function, and to identify the molecules and mechanisms that drive chromosome conformational changes. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we review Hi-C and microscopy studies describing cell-cycle-dependent conformational changes in chromosome structure.

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