Ribosomal chromatin organization

Sui Huang*, Lawrence I. Rothblum, Danyang Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells contain approximately 400 copies of the ribosomal RNA genes organized as tandem, head-to-tail repeats spread among 6-8 chromosomes. Only a subset of the genes is transcribed at any given time. Experimental evidence suggests that, in a specific cell type, only a fraction of the genes exists in a conformation that can be transcribed. An increasing body of study indicates that eukaryotic ribosomal RNA genes exist in either a heterochromatic nucleosomal state or in open euchromatic states in which they can be, or are, transcribed. This review will attempt to summarize our current understanding of the structure and organization of ribosomal chromatin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-449
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Chromatin states
  • Euchromatin
  • Heterochromatin
  • Ribosomal chromatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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