Genome modeling: From chromatin fibers to genes

Stephanie Portillo-Ledesma, Zilong Li, Tamar Schlick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The intricacies of the 3D hierarchical organization of the genome have been approached by many creative modeling studies. The specific model/simulation technique combination defines and restricts the system and phenomena that can be investigated. We present the latest modeling developments and studies of the genome, involving models ranging from nucleosome systems and small polynucleosome arrays to chromatin fibers in the kb-range, chromosomes, and whole genomes, while emphasizing gene folding from first principles. Clever combinations allow the exploration of many interesting phenomena involved in gene regulation, such as nucleosome structure and dynamics, nucleosome-nucleosome stacking, polynucleosome array folding, protein regulation of chromatin architecture, mechanisms of gene folding, loop formation, compartmentalization, and structural transitions at the chromosome and genome levels. Gene-level modeling with full details on nucleosome positions, epigenetic factors, and protein binding, in particular, can in principle be scaled up to model chromosomes and cells to study fundamental biological regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102506
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Chromatin folding
  • Epigenetic regulation
  • Gene regulation
  • Gene structure
  • Genome organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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