Transcription of individual genes in eukaryotic cells occurs randomly and infrequently

Ross, Ian L., Browne, Catherine M. and Hume, David A. (1994) Transcription of individual genes in eukaryotic cells occurs randomly and infrequently. Immunology and Cell Bbiology, 72 2: 177-185. doi:10.1038/icb.1994.26

Author Ross, Ian L.
Browne, Catherine M.
Hume, David A.
Title Transcription of individual genes in eukaryotic cells occurs randomly and infrequently
Journal name Immunology and Cell Bbiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0818-9641
Publication date 1994-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/icb.1994.26
Volume 72
Issue 2
Start page 177
End page 185
Total pages 9
Place of publication Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 060405 Gene Expression (incl. Microarray and other genome-wide approaches)
Abstract Experimental evidence is presented indicating that the expression of a lacZ reporter gene driven by the HIV-1 long terminal repeat in a series of stably transfected, cloned macrophage cell lines occurs in a very small proportion of cells. The proportion of cells expressing lacZ, rather than the level of expression in each cell, is regulated by external stimuli such as LPS and phorbol ester. Based upon these and published data we propose that transcription in eukaryotic cells occurs in short pulses interspersed by long periods of inactivity of indeterminate duration. Transcriptional regulation is envisaged as involving changes in the probability rather than the rate of transcription. A probabilistic model of transcription may explain many biological phenomena, such as stem cell division and clonogenic activity, heterogeneous gene expression among clonal cell populations, retroviral latency and cell cycle progression, which appear to involve stochastic decisions.
Keyword Beta-galactosidase
Gene Expression Regulation
Inducible Gene Expression
Stochastic Gene Expression
Transcription Initiation Thresold
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 84 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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