Gene expression in E. coli influences the position and motion of the lac operon and vicinal loci

Yuan Chu Lu, Yi Ren Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Transcription and translation of active genes play an important role in determining the global organization of the chromosome. To further elucidate this phenomenon, we examined how the expression of either the lacY or the cfp gene in the native lac operon influences adjacent chromosomal segments by fluorescently labeling loci upstream and downstream of the expressed gene. Based on the positions and motile behaviors of these loci, our results reveal that the local organization of the vicinal chromosomal segments and its position in the nucleoid are both influenced by gene expression. Furthermore, we found that the effects on local organization depend on whether the expressed gene encodes a membrane protein or a cytoplasmic protein. Our measurements showing the movement of loci toward the membrane and the correlation between the motions of the upstream and downstream loci support the conclusion that the expression of genes encoding membrane proteins greatly influences chromosome dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 5


  • DNA structure & dynamics
  • Fluorescence super resolution imaging
  • Single molecule methods
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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