Background: The basal transcription/repair factor TFIIH is a ten sub-unit complex essential for RNA polymerase II (RNAP2) transcription initiation and DNA repair. In both these processes TFIIH acts as a DNA helix opener, required for promoter escape of RNAP2 in transcription initiation, and to set the stage for strand incision within the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Methods: We used a knock-in mouse model that we generated and that endogenously expresses a fluorescent version of XPB (XPB-YFP). Using different microscopy, cellular biology and biochemistry approaches we quantified the steady state levels of this protein in different cells, and cells imbedded in tissues. Results: Here we demonstrate, via confocal imaging of ex vivo tissues and cells derived from this mouse model, that TFIIH steady state levels are tightly regulated at the single cell level, thus keeping nuclear TFIIH concentrations remarkably constant in a cell type dependent manner. Moreover, we show that individual cellular TFIIH levels are proportional to the speed of mRNA production, hence to a cell's transcriptional activity, which we can correlate to proliferation status. Importantly, cancer tissue presents a higher TFIIH than normal healthy tissues. Conclusion: This study shows that TFIIH cellular concentration can be used as a bona-fide quantitative marker of transcriptional activity and cellular proliferation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Proliferation, TFIIH, Transcription
Persistent URL,
Journal Cancer Cell International
Donnio, L.-M. (Lise-Marie), Miquel, C, Vermeulen, W, Giglia-Mari, G, & Mari, P.O. (2019). Cell-type specific concentration regulation of the basal transcription factor TFIIH in XPBy/y mice model. Cancer Cell International, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12935-019-0945-4