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Study of the activation dynamics of gene transcription by RNA polymerase 2

Abstract : The precise spatial and temporal control of gene expression is an essential aspect of life. Every living organism, wether bacterial or eukaryotic, unicellular or pluricellular, requires that the genes encoded by its DNA be transcribed at the right time and according to the requirements imposed by its environment. Failure to do so can lead to dangerous situations, ranging from cell death to tumourigenesis, and including aberrant response, such as diabetes. Transcription, the first step of gene expression, has been studied in a great variety of ways, and the scientific community has accumulated vast knowledge on the particularly complex mechanisms involved. The controls and dynamics of these processes have both been studied in vitro and in vivo; however, many questions remain, notably when it comes to control of transcriptional activation. This document recapitulates my work during these last 4 years in the field of transcriptional dynamics. I have opted for an approach based almost exclusively on advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques. The reason for this choice is that microscopy gives us a very powerful temporal resolution of cellular processes. It is now the preferred way for the investigation of in vivo dynamics. The use of microscopy also allows the experimentator to study cells from a same sample individually, thereby avoiding so called " averaging bias " inherent to other sample based methods. This work describes the methodologies that have been developed during these past 4 years, the results these new techniques have yielded, and the questions and prospects that they in turn lead to.
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  • HAL Id : tel-00824828, version 1


Sébastien Causse. Study of the activation dynamics of gene transcription by RNA polymerase 2. Biochemistry, Molecular Biology. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011PA066464⟩. ⟨tel-00824828⟩



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