By using a protein-DNA cross-linking method (D. S. Gilmour and J. T. Lis, Mol. Cell. Biol. 5:2009-2018, 1985), we examined the in vivo distribution of RNA polymerase II on the hsp70 heat shock gene in Drosophila melanogaster Schneider line 2 cells. In heat shock-induced cells, a high level of RNA polymerase II was detected on the entire gene, while in noninduced cells, the RNA polymerase II was confined to the 5' end of the hsp70 gene, predominantly between nucleotides -12 and +65 relative to the start of transcription. This association of RNA polymerase II was apparent whether the cross-linking was performed by a 10-min UV irradiation of chilled cells with mercury vapor lamps or by a 40-microsecond irradiation of cells with a high-energy xenon flash lamp. We hypothesize that RNA polymerase II has access to, and a high affinity for, the promoter region of this gene before induction, and this poised RNA polymerase II may be critical in the mechanism of transcription activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology