What do expression dynamics tell us about the mechanism of transcription?

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2011 Oct;21(5):591-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2011.07.010. Epub 2011 Aug 19.


Single-cell microscopy studies have the potential to provide an unprecedented view of gene expression with exquisite spatial and temporal sensitivity. However, there is a challenge to connect the holistic cellular view with a reductionist biochemical view. In particular, experimental efforts to characterize the in vivo regulation of transcription have focused primarily on measurements of the dynamics of transcription factors and chromatin modifying factors. Such measurements have elucidated the transient nature of many nuclear interactions. In the past few years, experimental approaches have emerged that allow for interrogation of the output of transcription at the single-molecule, single-cell level. Here, I summarize the experimental results and models that aim to provide an integrated view of transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Transcription, Genetic*