Replication domains: Genome compartmentalization into functional replication units

Peiyao A. Zhao, Juan Carlos Rivera-Mulia, David M. Gilbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


DNA replication occurs in a defined temporal order during S phase, known as the replication timing programme, which is regulated not only during the cell cycle but also during the process of development and differentiation. The units of replication timing regulation, known as replication domains (RDs), frequently comprise several nearly synchronously firing replication origins. Replication domains correspond to topologically associating domains (TADs) mapped by chromatin conformation capture methods and are likely to be the molecular equivalents of replication foci observed using cytogenetic methods. Both TAD and replication foci are considered to be stable structural units of chromosomes, conserved through the cell cycle and development, and accordingly, the boundaries of RDs also appear to be stable in different cell types. During both normal development and progression of disease, distinct cell states are characterized by unique replication timing signatures, with approximately half of genomic RDs switching replication timing between these cell states. Advances in functional genomics provide hope that we can soon gain an understanding of the cause and consequence of the replication timing programme and its myriad correlations with chromatin context and gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages29
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Cell cycle
  • Chromatin
  • Nucleus
  • Replication domain (RD)
  • Replication foci
  • Replication timing (RT)
  • Topologically associating domain (TAD)


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