The Nucleus and its Functional Domains

ID #1178

I know you mentioned gene density numerous times in class, but I wanted to make sure that I understood it correctly. It does not relate to how tightly packed the region is, but to how many genes are present per unit of length. Those regions had to be unwound because a gene was needed that was inside there (gene dense region).

Yes, this is correct. One additional comment -- it's not only gene dense regions that need to be unwound, it's that they are simply more likely to be unwound at a given instant in time. If you're the only gene in a stretch of 50,000 bp of DNA, you'll still need to be unwound to euchromatin if/when you need to be transcribed. But the statistical probability is that you'll be packed up more often than a gene that is one of 20 genes in another stretch of 50,000 bp of DNA. Again, this isn't (necessarily) an indication of the "importance" of one gene vs. another, just the fact that there are 20 genes in the "gene rich" region, any one of which that might be called on at any given time, while there's only one gene that might be called on in the region of lower gene density.

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