A single somatic cell of humans contains DNA fibers of a total length of approximately 2 m, which are compacted, without entanglement, into the nucleus of approximately 1×10-5 m in diameter. To greater or lesser degrees, all organisms compact their DNA. Biologically important DNA regions, such as the origins of DNA replication, regulatory regions of transcription, and recombination loci, must all be compacted. The tightly constrained DNA, however, presents the appropriate environment for replication, transcription, and recombination to take place.
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