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Re-visiting a long-lasting dogma: To couple or not to couple

Prof. Amster-Choder and RNA picture
The lack of a membrane that separates the bacterial chromosome from the cytosol in bacteria led to the dogma that RNA transcription and translation are coupled and occur near the transcribed genes. This dogma became a hallmark of bacterial gene expression. The Amster-Choder group pioneered in demonstrating that RNAs may localize to specific domains in the bacterial cell in a translation-independent manner, a study that got recognition for challenging the dogma. The group has now developed a high-throughput method to assess the extent of the coupling between the processes. Together with the group of Guenter Kramer from Heidelberg University, they analyzed the data, and their initial results show that translation of a substantial fraction of RNAs is not coupled to their transcription. The two groups will use the GIF Nexus funding to explore the environmental, organizational and macromolecular factors that control coupling and uncoupling.