The live cell kinetics of transcription

22 May 2009

Jim McNally
Fluorescence Imaging Group
Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression
National Cancer Institute, NIH


Live cell analysis has demonstrated that transcription factors, their co-factors and the polymerase itself are bound for at most a few seconds at the promoters of many active genes. Quantitative analysis of such live cell data yields predictions for the binding kinetics of transcription complex assembly. However, these predictions rely on relatively new analysis methods. We have found that different methods produce very different answers. I will present our efforts to develop more robust methods. Accurate in-vivo measurements of cellular binding, which are often radically different from their in vitro counterparts, will provide the raw materials for accurate systems models of biological processes.

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