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Gene. 2003 Oct 23;317(1-2):79-87.

Genome-wide regulatory analysis using en masse nuclear run-ons and ribonomic profiling with autoimmune sera.

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  • 1Center for RNA Biology, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Coordinated gene expression is influenced by transcriptional and posttranscriptional events and is necessary for efficient cell growth and differentiation. Genomic array technologies have afforded great advances in identifying global changes of gene expression in response to a variety of environmental stimuli. However, it has been a challenge to assess whether a concomitant effect on protein expression reflects the coordinated regulation of distinct subsets of mRNAs detected by cDNA arrays [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 98 (2001) 7018]. We have expanded the utility of cDNA arrays by using them to assist in elucidating combinatorial posttranscriptional eukaryotic operons [Mol. Cell 9 (2002) 1161]. In this study, we have used two mRNA partitioning methods in which: (1) subsets of mRNAs are isolated as endogenous mRNP complexes using autoimmune patient sera, and (2) transcriptional contributions to gene expression are assessed using cDNA array analysis of an en masse nuclear run-on assay (emRUN). The combination of these methods can provide an additional 'systems biology' discovery approach to gene expression analysis based upon the physical partitioning of mRNA subsets, as well as a functional partitioning of transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. We demonstrate how these approaches can reduce transcriptomic complexity by partitioning mRNAs into biologically relevant subsets in order to derive information about the expression of multiple, but functionally linked, genes.

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