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Chromosome Res. 2004;12(5):439-51.

Nascent RNA synthesis in the context of chromatin architecture.

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Universität München (LMU), Department Biologie II, Goethestr. 31, 80336 München, Germany.


Based on the idea that chromatin domains provide physical barriers for large molecules and multi-enzyme complexes, including the components of the transcription machinery, it has been proposed that transcription should be confined to the surfaces of chromatin domains. As a consequence nascent RNA should accumulate in the interchromatin space, which is thought to provide a special nuclear compartment involved in transcription, as well as in the processing and export of RNA (Cremer et al. 1993, Cremer & Cremer 2001). To further address the relationships between chromatin organization and RNA synthesis, we investigated the localization of BrUTP-labelled nascent RNA in HeLa cells stably expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged histone H2B, which highlights the chromatin structure. Our results showed that nascent RNA does not preferentially localize within the interchromatin space. The findings do not support the idea that the interchromatin space provides a nuclear compartment playing an essential role in nascent RNA synthesis. However, the results are in agreement with the emerging view that even condensed chromatin domains display a highly dynamic organization and are not a physical barrier for transcription factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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