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Individual cells in genetically homogeneous populations have been found to express different numbers of molecules of specific proteins. We investigated the origins of these variations in mammalian cells by counting individual molecules of mRNA produced from a reporter gene that was stably integrated into the cell's genome. We found that there are massive(More)
We describe a method for imaging individual mRNA molecules in fixed cells by probing each mRNA species with 48 or more short, singly labeled oligonucleotide probes. This makes each mRNA molecule visible as a computationally identifiable fluorescent spot by fluorescence microscopy. We demonstrate simultaneous detection of three mRNA species in single cells(More)
We have developed novel nucleic acid probes that recognize and report the presence of specific nucleic acids in homogeneous solutions. These probes undergo a spontaneous fluorogenic conformational change when they hybridize to their targets. Only perfectly complementary targets elicit this response, as hybridization does not occur when the target contains a(More)
An important consideration in the design of oligonucleotide probes for homogeneous hybridization assays is the efficiency of energy transfer between the fluorophore and quencher used to label the probes. We have determined the efficiency of energy transfer for a large number of combinations of commonly used fluorophores and quenchers. We have also measured(More)
Genetic variation in CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), the major HIV-1 coreceptor, has been shown to influence HIV-1 transmission and disease progression. However, it is generally assumed that the same CCR5 genotype (or haplotype) has similar phenotypic effects in different populations. To test this assumption, we used an evolutionary-based classification of(More)
Molecular beacons are hairpin-shaped oligonucleotide probes that report the presence of specific nucleic acids in homogenous solutions. When they bind to their targets they undergo a conformational reorganization that restores the fluorescence of an internally quenched fluorophore. We found that their hairpin conformation enables the use of a wide variety(More)
The mechanism of transport of mRNA-protein (mRNP) complexes from transcription sites to nuclear pores has been the subject of many studies. Using molecular beacons to track single mRNA molecules in living cells, we have characterized the diffusion of mRNP complexes in the nucleus. The mRNP complexes move freely by Brownian diffusion at a rate that assures(More)
The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to adapt to different environments in the infected host is essential for its pathogenicity. Consequently, this organism must be able to modulate gene expression to respond to the changing conditions it encounters during infection. In this paper we begin a comprehensive study of M. tuberculosis gene regulation,(More)
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) lytic switch protein, Rta, is a ligand-independent inducer of the Notch signal transduction pathway, and KSHV cannot reactivate from latency in cells null for the Notch target protein RBP-Jk. Here we show that Rta promotes DNA binding of RBP-Jk, a mechanism that is fundamentally different from that established(More)
Introns are removed from pre-mRNAs during transcription while the pre-mRNA is still tethered to the gene locus via RNA polymerase. However, during alternative splicing, it is important that splicing be deferred until all of the exons and introns involved in the choice have been synthesized. We have developed an in situ RNA imaging method with(More)