Direct observation of frequency modulated transcription in single cells using light activation

Daniel R. Larson, Christoph Fritzsch, Liang Sun, Xiuhau Meng, David S. Lawrence, Robert H. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Single-cell analysis has revealed that transcription is dynamic and stochastic, but tools are lacking that can determine the mechanism operating at a single gene. Here we utilize single-molecule observations of RNA in fixed and living cells to develop a single-cell model of steroid-receptor mediated gene activation. We determine that steroids drive mRNA synthesis by frequency modulation of transcription. This digital behavior in single cells gives rise to the well-known analog dose response across the population. To test this model, we developed a light-activation technology to turn on a single steroid-responsive gene and follow dynamic synthesis of RNA from the activated locus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00750
JournaleLife
Volume2013
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013

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Transcription
Genes
Chemical activation
Observation
Light
Steroids
RNA
Single-Cell Analysis
Steroid Receptors
Frequency modulation
Transcriptional Activation
Cells
Technology
Messenger RNA
Molecules
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Direct observation of frequency modulated transcription in single cells using light activation. / Larson, Daniel R.; Fritzsch, Christoph; Sun, Liang; Meng, Xiuhau; Lawrence, David S.; Singer, Robert H.

In: eLife, Vol. 2013, No. 2, e00750, 24.09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Larson, Daniel R. ; Fritzsch, Christoph ; Sun, Liang ; Meng, Xiuhau ; Lawrence, David S. ; Singer, Robert H. / Direct observation of frequency modulated transcription in single cells using light activation. In: eLife. 2013 ; Vol. 2013, No. 2.
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