Direct measurement of transcription factor dissociation excludes a simple operator occupancy model for gene regulation
2014 (English)In: Nature Genetics, ISSN 1061-4036, E-ISSN 1546-1718, Vol. 46, no 4, 405-+ p.Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Transcription factors mediate gene regulation by site-specific binding to chromosomal operators. It is commonly assumed that the level of repression is determined solely by the equilibrium binding of a repressor to its operator. However, this assumption has not been possible to test in living cells. Here we have developed a single-molecule chase assay to measure how long an individual transcription factor molecule remains bound at a specific chromosomal operator site. We find that the lac repressor dimer stays bound on average 5 min at the native lac operator in Escherichia coli and that a stronger operator results in a slower dissociation rate but a similar association rate. Our findings do not support the simple equilibrium model. The discrepancy with this model can, for example, be accounted for by considering that transcription initiation drives the system out of equilibrium. Such effects need to be considered when predicting gene activity from transcription factor binding strengths.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 46, no 4, 405-+ p.
Cell Biology Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225087DOI: 10.1038/ng.2905ISI: 000334510100020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225087DiVA: diva2:724936
Hammar and Walldén contributed equally to this work.2014-06-132014-05-272015-02-03Bibliographically approved