The three-dimensional (3D) structure of the genome is organized non-randomly and plays a role in genomic function via epigenetic mechanisms in the eukaryotic nucleus. Here, we analyzed the spatial positioning of three target regions; the SNRPN, UBE3A, and GABRB3 genes on human chromosome 15q11.2-q12, a representative cluster of imprinted regions, in the interphase nuclei of B lymphoblastoid cell lines, peripheral blood cells, and skin fibroblasts derived from normal individuals to look for evidence of genomic organization and function. The positions of these genes were simultaneously visualized, and all inter-gene distances were calculated for each homologous chromosome (longer/shorter UG distance between alleles). The UG distance was relatively stable between alleles; in contrast, the SU distance of one allele was obviously longer than the distance indicated by the genome size. The results therefore indicate that SNRPN, UBE3A, and GABRB3 have non-linear and non-random curved spatial positioning in the normal nucleus, with differences in the SU distance between alleles possibly representing epigenetic evidence of nuclear organization and gene expression.
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