The topology of transcription by immobilized polymerases
Iborra FJ., Pombo A., McManus J., Jackson DA., Cook PR.
Current models for RNA synthesis involve an RNA polymerase that tracks along a static template. However, research on chromatin loops suggests that the template slides past a polymerase immobilized in a large transcription factory. The evidence for immobilized polymerases is reviewed, and a model for transcription by such fixed enzymes is presented. According to the model, gene activation would involve reducing gene-factory distance and increasing the affinity of a promoter for a factory. Locus controlling regions and enhancers would attach to a factory and increase the chances that a promoter could bind to a polymerase; after transcriptional termination, the gene would detach from the factory. As some RNA processing occurs cotranscriptionally, processing sites are also likely to be associated with the factory.