Many of the chapters in this volume are concerned with processes or structures inside the nucleus, and it is relevant to consider the properties of their environment, or rather of the multiple different and specific environments that must exist in local regions of the highly heterogeneous intranuclear space. Relatively little is known about the fundamental physical properties of these environments, and theoretical treatments of phenomena in such concentrated mixtures of charged macromolecules are complex and as yet poorly developed. Some of the phenomena that occur at the molecular level are unexpected and counterintuitive for biologists, although well known to colloid and polymer scientists; for example, the existence of short-range attractive forces between macromolecules or structures with like charges. As a background for the chapters that follow, we consider here some of the particular features of intranuclear environments, how they may influence processes and structures in the nucleus, and their implications for working with nuclei.
Alternative citation for this reference: Schnell S, Hancock R (2008) The Intranuclear Environment. In: Hancock R. (eds) The Nucleus. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 463. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ