center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


Human genome bursts with excitement

October 16, 2012

Gene expression is thought to occur in either a constitutive or a 'bursty' manner. But does either process predominate across the human genome, and are transcription dynamics influenced by genomic position or promoter sequence?

By using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy to analyze 8000 individual human genomic loci, Center investigators Roy Dar, Leor Weinberger and colleagues demonstrate that transcriptional bursting is the predominant mode of gene expression in the human genome.  Interestingly, both the frequency and size of the transcriptional bursts vary equally across the genome, independent of promoter sequence. Read the paper by Dar et al. published in PNAS or the UCSF news coverage to learn more.