Visualization of gene activity in living cells

Tsukamoto, T., Hashiguchi, N., Janicki, S. M., Tumbar, T., Belmont, A. S., Spector, D. L. (December 2000) Visualization of gene activity in living cells. Nature Cell Biology, 2. pp. 871-878. ISSN 1465-7392

DOI: 10.1038/35046510


Chromatin structure is thought to play a critical role in gene expression. Using the lac operator/repressor system and two colour variants of green fluorescent protein (GFP), we developed a system to visualize a gene and its protein product directly in living cells, allowing us to examine the spatial organization and timing of gene expression in vivo. Dynamic morphological changes in chromatin structure, from a condensed to an open structure, were observed upon gene activation, and targeting of the gene product, cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) reporter to peroxisomes was visualized directly in living cells. We found that the integrated gene locus was surrounded by a promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) nuclear body. The association was transcription independent but was dependent upon the direct in vivo binding of specific proteins (EYFP/lac repressor, tetracycline receptor/VP16 transactivator) to the locus. The ability to visualize gene expression directly in living cells provides a powerful system with which to study the dynamics of nuclear events such as transcription, RNA processing and DNA repair.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: Investigative techniques and equipment
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function > gene expression
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Spector lab
Depositing User: Brian Soldo
Date: December 2000
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 22:41
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 16:52
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