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Transcription occurs in pulses in muscle fibers

Authors
Publisher
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
License
Unknown

Abstract

We report a novel mechanism of gene regulation in skeletal muscle fibers. Within an individual myofiber nucleus, not all muscle loci are transcriptionally active at a given time and loci are regulated independently. This phenomenon is particularly remarkable because the nuclei within a myofiber share a common cytoplasm. Both endogenous muscle-specific and housekeeping genes and transgenes are regulated in this manner. Therefore, despite the uniform protein composition of the contractile apparatus along the length of the fiber, the loci that encode this structure are not transcribed continuously. The total number of active loci for a particular gene is dynamic, changing during fetal development, regeneration, and in the adult, and potentially reflects the growth status of the fiber. The data reveal that transcription in particular stages of muscle fiber maturation occurs in pulses and is defined by a stochastic mechanism.

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