Apr 4, 2020

Live-cell imaging reveals the spatiotemporal organization of endogenous RNA polymerase II phosphorylation at a single gene

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. S. ForeroTimothy J Stasevich


The carboxyl-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II is dynamically phosphorylated during transcription in eukaryotic cells. While residue-specific phosphorylation has been mapped with exquisite spatial resolution along the 1D genome in a population of fixed cells using immunoprecipitation-based assays, the timing, kinetics, and spatial organization of phosphorylation along a single-copy gene have not yet been measured in living cells. Here, we achieve this by combining multi-color, single-molecule microscopy with fluorescent antibody-based probes that specifically bind to unphosphorylated and phosphorylated forms of endogenous RNAP2 in living cells. Applying this methodology to a single-copy HIV-1 reporter gene provides live-cell evidence for heterogeneity in the distribution of RNAP2 along the length of the gene as well as clusters of Serine 5 phosphorylated RNAP2 that form around active genes and are separated in both space and time from nascent mRNA synthesis. Computational models fit to our data determine that 5 to 40 RNAP2 cluster around the promoter of a gene during typical transcriptional bursts. Nearly all RNAP2 either arrive with Serine 5 phosphorylation or acquire the modification within a minute. Transcription from the...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Specimen Type - Fibroblasts
Cell Therapy
Transcription, Genetic
Skeletal System
Gene Signature

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