For the first time, scientists have devised a way to watch and analyze, in real time, the transcription of a single gene in a living human cell. Published online today (July 18) in Nature Methods, researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel describe their system to visualize and track the kinetics of transcription, including the speed and fluctuations of transcription of a single gene. Yaron Shav-Tal and colleagues at Bar-Ilan used their technique, which involves tagging the mRNA product from a single gene copy with green fluorescent protein, to track the speed and duration of the transcription of a single cyclin D1 allele, a well-characterized gene that produces a protein important to the cell cycle. By tracking the gene multiple times, the team was able to detect how many mRNA transcripts were produced, how quickly they were produced, and how different types of promoters affect the rate of transcription. Here, we...
S. Yunger et al. "Single-allele analysis of transcription kinetics in living mammalian cells," Nature Methods, published online July 18, 2010, doi:10.1038/nmeth.1482

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