Chromosome location in the nucleus has just been mapped out in fibroblasts and cells from the amion. Recent research has identified that each interphase chromosome occupies a specific domain (chromosome territory) within the nucleus and is not scattered widely in a disordered manner. These chromosome domains and the location of genes on chromosomes suggests a specific 3D organization within the nucleus itself.
Chromosome location in a male fibroblast
(Image: PLoS Biol. 2005 May;3(5):e157)
Gamete cells not only have chromosome territories, but these locations have been shown to change with development. In spermatazoa development, initially the sex chromosomes are located at the nuclear edge (primary spermatocytes) but get relocated centrally (spermatids) and in the mature gamete (spermatazoa) (More? Foster etal., 2005). In fertilization, the sperm chromosomes are then also decondensed and reactivated.
Bolzer A, Kreth G, Solovei I, Koehler D, Saracoglu K, Fauth C, Muller S, Eils R, Cremer C, Speicher MR, Cremer T. Three-dimensional maps of all chromosomes in human male fibroblast nuclei and prometaphase rosettes. PLoS Biol. 2005 May;3(5):e157. "Chromatin domains, which are gene-poor, form a layer beneath the nuclear envelope, while gene-dense chromatin is enriched in the nuclear interior." (PLoS Paper Link)
Mora L, Sanchez I, Garcia M, Ponsa M. Chromosome territory positioning of conserved homologous chromosomes in different primate species. Chromosoma. 2006 Apr 11; "...both gene-density and chromosome size influence chromosome territory arrangement in the nucleus. This influence is greater for chromosome-size than for gene-density in the three species studied. A comparison of the radial position of a given CT and its homolog in the species analyzed suggests similar CT distributions for homologous chromosomes."
Zalenskaya IA, Zalensky AO. Non-random positioning of chromosomes in human sperm nuclei. Chromosome Res. 2004;12(2):163-73. "In human spermatozoa, the arrangement of chromosomes is non-random. Characteristic features are association of centromeres in the interior chromocenter and peripheral location of telomeres."
Foster HA, Abeydeera LR, Griffin DK, Bridger JM. Non-random chromosome positioning in mammalian sperm nuclei, with migration of the sex chromosomes during late spermatogenesis. J Cell Sci. 2005 May 1;118(Pt 9):1811-20. "The sex chromosomes were found at the nuclear edge in primary spermatocytes, which correlates with the known position of the XY body and their position in somatic cells, whereas, in spermatids, the sex chromosomes were much more centrally located, mirroring the position of these chromosomes in ejaculated spermatozoa. This study reveals the temporal repositioning of chromosome territories in spermatogenesis."
Search Apr 2006 "chromosome territories" 224 reference articles of which 34 were reviews.