The temporal and spatial organization of transcriptional regulatory machinery provides microenvironments within the nucleus where threshold concentrations of genes and cognate factors facilitate functional interactions. Conventional biochemical, molecular, and in vivo genetic approaches, together with high throughput genomic and proteomic analysis are rapidly expanding our database of regulatory macromolecules and signaling pathways that are requisite for control of genes that govern proliferation and differentiation. There is accruing insight into the architectural organization of regulatory machinery for gene expression that suggests signatures for biological control. Localized scaffolding of regulatory macromolecules at strategic promoter sites and focal compartmentalization of genes, transcripts, and regulatory factors within intranuclear microenvironments provides an infrastructure for combinatorial control of transcription that is operative within the three dimensional context of nuclear architecture. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.