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Research sheds light on the mechanics of gene transcription
Date:1/8/2008

est the generality of the findings beyond polytene nuclei to common (but much smaller and more difficult to test) diploid cells, the researchers used a technique called fluorescence in situ hybridization, which allowed them to detect the location of specific DNA sequences along a chromosome in fixed cells.

Looking at the location of co-regulated heat shock genes (genes that are transcribed simultaneously), they found that co-regulated pairs that occupied distinct sites before heat shock were no closer together after heat shock. As in the polytene chromosomes, the genes did not move to a single site for transcription.

And using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching -- another method engineered by Webb -- the researchers found that over time Pol II began to recycle itself within newly formed "compartments" around the activated gene.

"At some point you accumulate enough polymerase that it feeds back, so in a sense you've created a factory de novo" said Lis. "This is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of Pol II recycling at a specific gene in vivo."

Lis and colleagues are now looking at other molecules involved in transcription to see if they behave similarly. "We're hoping to develop new ways to really see, in vivo, how gene regulation works mechanistically," he said.


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Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

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