The genetic code has received a great amount of attention from investigators, and the media since its discovery, and then again with the sequencing of the human genome in 2000. A decade later, investigators are beginning to look beyond the raw sequence to other mechanisms that affect gene expression. The main function of the nucleus is to maintain the genome and regulate gene expression. Changes in the expression of genes can drastically change the properties of the cell therefore giving the nucleus a role as the cell's "command post." In the past few years, one of the most notable discoveries in the study of the nucleus is that this organelle is not homogeneous. It is also not randomly organized; everything within the nucleus has a specific location with a specific function. Chromosome location within the nucleus relative to its center is directly related to transcription level. Additionally, there are specific regions of the nucleus where content and function differ. The various structures of the nucleus such as the membranes and matrix that supply support to the well protected chromatin offer ever increasing layers of complexity to the nucleus. Here, we focus on the nuclear matrix and its possible effects on signaling and cellular transformation leading to cancer.
- Nuclear matrix
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