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0 Q&A 1791 Views Feb 20, 2022

At the end of about 80% of the operon in Escherichia coli, translation termination decouples transcription, leading to Rho-dependent transcription termination (RDT). However, no in vitro or in vivo assay system has proven to be good enough to see the 3’ end of the mRNA generated by RDT. Here, we present a cell-free assay system that could provide detailed information on the 3’ end of a transcript RNA generated by RDT. Our protocol shows how to extract transcript RNA generated by transcription reactions from a cell-free extract, followed by an RNA oligomer ligation to the 3’ end of a transcript RNA of interest. The 3' end of the RNA is amplified using RT-PCR. Its genetic location can be determined using a gene-specific primer extension reaction. The 3’ ends of mRNA can be visualized and quantified by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. One significant advantage of a cell-free assay system is that factors involved in the generation of the 3' end, such as proteins and sRNA, can be directly assayed by exogenously adding factor(s) to the reaction.

Graphic abstract:

An illustration of the experimental methodology.

0 Q&A 1955 Views Jun 20, 2021

DNA transcription by RNA polymerases has always interested the scientific community as it is one of the most important processes involved in genome expression. This has led scientists to come up with different protocols allowing analysis of this process in specific locations across the genome by quantitating the amount of RNA polymerases transcribing that genomic site in a cell population. This can be achieved by either detecting the total number of polymerases in contact with that region (i.e., by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with anti-RNA polymerase antibodies) or by measuring the number of polymerases that are effectively engaged in transcription in that position. This latter strategy is followed using transcription run-on (TRO), also known as nuclear run-on (NRO), which was first developed in mammalian cells over 40 years ago and has since been adapted to many other different organisms and high-throughput methods. Here, we detail the procedure for performing TRO in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for single genomic regions to study active transcription on a single gene scale. To do so, we wash the cells in the detergent sarkosyl, which prevents new initiations at the promoter level, and then perform an in situ reaction, leading to the radiolabeling of transcripts by RNA polymerases that were already engaged in transcription at the moment of harvesting. By subsequently quantitating the signal of these transcripts, we can determine the level of active transcription in a single gene. This presents a major advantage over other forms of transcription quantitation such as RNA polymerase ChIP, since in the latter, both active and inactive polymerases are measured. By combining both ChIP and TRO, the amount of inactive or paused polymerases on a particular gene can be estimated.

Graphic abstract:

Transcriptional run-on scheme

0 Q&A 14085 Views Sep 20, 2014
This protocol describes the coupling of (i) “live” in vitro RNA transcription with (ii) binding by a radiolabeled, pre-formed tRNA followed by native gel electrophoresis and phosphorimager scan to visualize the complex. The necessity arose from the stable structure that one RNA forms in the absence of its interaction partner. The T-box leader RNA, a transcription control system, folds into a thermodynamically very stable stem-loop structure without the tRNA present, which makes in vitro binding interaction of both pre-formed RNAs very difficult. I therefore adjusted the binding assay to mimic the “natural” situation in the bacterial cell, where the pre-formed, stable tRNA is already present while the T-box leader RNA is actively transcribed by the RNA polymerase. The first part of the protocol also describes the in vitro transcription and labeling of the tRNA.

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