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45 Janelia Publications

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    08/09/13 | Real-time dynamics of RNA polymerase II clustering in live human cells.
    Cisse II, Izeddin I, Causse SZ, Boudarene L, Senecal A, Muresan L, Dugast-Darzacq C, Hajj B, Dahan M, Darzacq X
    Science. 2013 Aug 9;341(6146):664-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1239053

    Transcription is reported to be spatially compartmentalized in nuclear transcription factories with clusters of RNA polymerase II (Pol II). However, little is known about when these foci assemble or their relative stability. We developed a quantitative single-cell approach to characterize protein spatiotemporal organization, with single-molecule sensitivity in live eukaryotic cells. We observed that Pol II clusters form transiently, with an average lifetime of 5.1 (± 0.4) seconds, which refutes the notion that they are statically assembled substructures. Stimuli affecting transcription yielded orders-of-magnitude changes in the dynamics of Pol II clusters, which implies that clustering is regulated and plays a role in the cell’s ability to effect rapid response to external signals. Our results suggest that transient crowding of enzymes may aid in rate-limiting steps of gene regulation.

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    07/30/13 | ViSP: representing single-particle localizations in three dimensions.
    Beheiry ME, Dahan M
    Nature Methods. 2013 Jul 30;10(8):689-90. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2566
    01/01/13 | Fast multicolor 3D imaging using aberration-corrected multifocus microscopy.
    Abrahamsson S, Chen J, Hajj B, Stallinga S, Katsov AY, Wisniewski J, Mizuguchi G, Soule P, Mueller F, Darzacq CD, Darzacq X, Wu C, Bargmann CI, Agard DA, Dahan M, Gustafsson MG
    Nature Methods. 2013;10(1):60-3. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2277

    Conventional acquisition of three-dimensional (3D) microscopy data requires sequential z scanning and is often too slow to capture biological events. We report an aberration-corrected multifocus microscopy method capable of producing an instant focal stack of nine 2D images. Appended to an epifluorescence microscope, the multifocus system enables high-resolution 3D imaging in multiple colors with single-molecule sensitivity, at speeds limited by the camera readout time of a single image.

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    04/22/11 | Real-time observation of transcription initiation and elongation on an endogenous yeast gene.
    Larson DR, Zenklusen D, Wu B, Chao JA, Singer RH
    Science. 2011 Apr 22;332(6028):475-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1202142

    Cellular messenger RNA levels are achieved by the combinatorial complexity of factors controlling transcription, yet the small number of molecules involved in these pathways fluctuates stochastically. It has not yet been experimentally possible to observe the activity of single polymerases on an endogenous gene to elucidate how these events occur in vivo. Here, we describe a method of fluctuation analysis of fluorescently labeled RNA to measure dynamics of nascent RNA–including initiation, elongation, and termination–at an active yeast locus. We find no transcriptional memory between initiation events, and elongation speed can vary by threefold throughout the cell cycle. By measuring the abundance and intranuclear mobility of an upstream transcription factor, we observe that the gene firing rate is directly determined by trans-activating factor search times.

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    03/15/11 | Subnuclear segregation of genes and core promoter factors in myogenesis. (With commentary)
    Yao J, Fetter RD, Hu P, Betzig E, Tjian R
    Genes & Development. 2011 Mar 15;25(6):569-80. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Recent findings implicate alternate core promoter recognition complexes in regulating cellular differentiation. Here we report a spatial segregation of the alternative core factor TAF3, but not canonical TFIID subunits, away from the nuclear periphery, where the key myogenic gene MyoD is preferentially localized in myoblasts. This segregation is correlated with the differential occupancy of TAF3 versus TFIID at the MyoD promoter. Loss of this segregation by modulating either the intranuclear location of the MyoD gene or TAF3 protein leads to altered TAF3 occupancy at the MyoD promoter. Intriguingly, in differentiated myotubes, the MyoD gene is repositioned to the nuclear interior, where TAF3 resides. The specific high-affinity recognition of H3K4Me3 by the TAF3 PHD (plant homeodomain) finger appears to be required for the sequestration of TAF3 to the nuclear interior. We suggest that intranuclear sequestration of core transcription components and their target genes provides an additional mechanism for promoter selectivity during differentiation.

    Commentary: Jie Yao in Bob Tijan’s lab used a combination of confocal microscopy and dual label PALM in thin sections cut from resin-embedded cells to show that certain core transcription components and their target genes are spatially segregated in myoblasts, but not in differentiated myotubes, suggesting that such spatial segregation may play a role in guiding cellular differentiation.


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