The nucleoskeleton and the topology of transcription.
Transcription is conventionally believed to occur by passage of a mobile polymerase along a fixed template. Evidence for this model is derived almost entirely from material prepared using hypotonic salt concentrations. Studies on subnuclear structures isolated using hypertonic conditions, and more recently using conditions closer to the physiological, suggest an alternative. Transcription occurs as the template moves past a polymerase attached to a nucleoskeleton; this skeleton is the active site of transcription. Evidence for the two models is summarised. Much of it is consistent with the polymerase being attached and not freely diffusible. Some consequences of such a model are discussed.