- Regulation of gene expression is essential to the normal development and efficient functioning of cells
- Gene expression may be regulated by many mechanisms, including those affecting transcript abundance, protein abundance, and post-translational modifications
- Regulation of transcript abundance may involve controlling the rate of initiation and elongation of transcription, as well as transcript splicing, stability, and turnover
- The rate of initiation of transcription is related to the presence of RNA polymerase and associated proteins at the promoter.
- RNApol may be blocked from the promoter by repressors, or may be recruited or stabilized at the promoter by other proteins including transcription factors
- The lac operon is a classic, fundamental paradigm demonstrating both positive and negative regulation through allosteric effects on trans-factors.
- In eukaryotes, cis-elements that are usually called enhancers bind to specific trans-factors to regulate transcriptional initiation.
- Enhancers may be modular, with each enhancer and its transcription factor regulating a distinct component of a gene’s expression pattern, as in the yellow gene.
- Sticklebacks provide examples of recent evolutionary events in which mutation of an enhancer produced a change in morphology and a selective advantage.
- Chromatin structure, including reversible modifications such as acetylation of histones, and methylation DNA CpG sites also regulates the initiation of transcription.
- Chromatin modifications or DNA methylation of some genes are heritable over many mitotic, and sometimes even meiotic divisions.
- Heritable changes in phenotype that do not result from a change in DNA sequence are called epigenetic. Many epigenetic phenomena involve regulation of gene expression by chromatin modification and/or DNA methylation.
P / promoter
O / operator
cAMP binding protein
CAP binding sequence
Oc / I- / Is
F-factor / episome
transcription start site
Contributors and Attributions
Dr. Todd Nickle and Isabelle Barrette-Ng (Mount Royal University) The content on this page is licensed under CC SA 3.0 licensing guidelines.