Imaging transcription: Past, present, and future

Robert A. Coleman, Zhe Liu, Xavier Darzacq, Robert Tjian, obert H. Singer, Timothée Lionnet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcription, the first step of gene expression, is exquisitely regulated in higher eukaryotes to ensure correct development and homeostasis. Traditional biochemical, genetic, and genomic approaches have proved successful at identifying factors, regulatory sequences, and potential pathways that modulate transcription. However, they typically only provide snapshots or population averages of the highly dynamic, stochastic biochemical processes involved in transcriptional regulation. Singlemolecule live-cell imaging has, therefore, emerged as a complementary approach capable of circumventing these limitations. By observing sequences of molecular events in real time as they occur in their native context, imaging has the power to derive cause-and-effect relationships and quantitative kinetics to build predictive models of transcription. Ongoing progress in fluorescence imaging technology has brought new microscopes and labeling technologies that now make it possible to visualize and quantify the transcription process with single-molecule resolution in living cells and animals. Here we provide an overview of the evolution and current state of transcription imaging technologies. We discuss some of the important concepts they uncovered and present possible future developments that might solve long-standing questions in transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication21st Century Genetics Genes at Work, 2015
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
Volume80
ISBN (Print)9781621821472
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016
Event21st Century Genetics Genes at Work, 2015 - Huntington, United States
Duration: May 26 2015May 31 2015

Publication series

NameCold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
Volume80
ISSN (Print)00917451

Other

Other21st Century Genetics Genes at Work, 2015
CountryUnited States
CityHuntington
Period5/26/155/31/15

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Coleman, R. A., Liu, Z., Darzacq, X., Tjian, R., Singer, O. H., & Lionnet, T. (2016). Imaging transcription: Past, present, and future. In 21st Century Genetics Genes at Work, 2015 (Vol. 80, pp. 1-8). (Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology; Vol. 80). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. https://doi.org/10.1101/sqb.2015.80.027201