Nuclear RNAs confined to a reticular compartment between chromosome territories

Joanna M. Bridger, Claudia Kalla, Harald Wodrich, Sandra Weitz, Jason A. King, Khashayarsha Khazaie, Hans Georg Kräusslich, Peter Lichter

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23 Scopus citations


RNA polymerase II transcripts are confined to nuclear compartments. A detailed analysis of the nuclear topology of RNA from individual genes was performed for transcripts from the marker gene coding for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, expressed at a high level from the HTLV-1 LTR promoter. The construct was transfected into A293 cells where the RNA was organized as an extensive reticular network. We also studied the RNA distribution from combinations of neighboring HIV and bacterial resistance genes that co-integrated within the genome of COS-7 cells-revealing spherical or track-like accumulations of RNA that were extensively branched. There were many nuclei with distinct but overlapping RNA accumulations. Since the coding genes localized at the overlapping points, the RNAs are synthesized at a common region and diverge. The correlation between the frequency of the separation of the transcripts and the physical distance of the respective genes suggests a subcompartmentalization in the microenvironment of genes on the basis of geometric parameters. Thus, the more distant the genes are on the same chromosome, the more likely they are confined to separated subcompartments of an extensive reticular system. Co-delineation of the RNA transcripts with Cajal bodies and chromosome territories indicated the organization of nuclear RNA transcripts in a reticular interchromosome domain compartment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2005


  • Chromosome
  • Nuclear RNA
  • Reticular compartment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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