Stochastic Kinetics of Nascent RNA

Heng Xu, Samuel O. Skinner, Anna Marie Sokac, Ido Golding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stochastic kinetics of transcription is typically inferred from the distribution of RNA numbers in individual cells. However, cellular RNA reflects additional processes downstream of transcription, hampering this analysis. In contrast, nascent (actively transcribed) RNA closely reflects the kinetics of transcription. We present a theoretical model for the stochastic kinetics of nascent RNA, which we solve to obtain the probability distribution of nascent RNA per gene. The model allows us to evaluate the kinetic parameters of transcription from single-cell measurements of nascent RNA. The model also predicts surprising discontinuities in the distribution of nascent RNA, a feature which we verify experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 13 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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