Chromatin regulation enables generation of diverse antibodies

We need a variety of antibody types to help fight off invading foreign pathogens and our genome is exquisitely tuned to produce them to meet emerging needs. A new study finds that not just our DNA, but its configuration and ...

How organ functions were shaped over the course of evolution

A large-scale study conducted by molecular biologists from Heidelberg University has yielded groundbreaking new insights into the evolution and regulation of gene expression in mammalian organs. The scientists investigated ...

Human genetics: A look in the mirror

Who are we? Where did we come from? How did we get here? Throughout the ages, humans have sought answers to these questions, pursuing wisdom through religion, philosophy, and eventually science. Evolutionary analyses published ...

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Regulation of gene expression

Gene modulation redirects here. For information on therapeutic regulation of gene expression, see therapeutic gene modulation.

Regulation of gene expression (or gene regulation) includes the processes that cells and viruses use to turn the information in genes into gene products. Although a functional gene product may be an RNA or a protein, the majority of known mechanisms regulate protein coding genes. Any step of the gene's expression may be modulated, from DNA-RNA transcription to the post-translational modification of a protein.

Gene regulation is essential for viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes as it increases the versatility and adaptability of an organism by allowing the cell to express protein when needed. The first discovered example of a gene regulation system was the lac operon, discovered by Jacques Monod, in which protein involved in lactose metabolism are expressed by E.coli only in the presence of lactose and absence of glucose.

Furthermore, gene regulation drives the processes of cellular differentiation and morphogenesis, leading to the creation of different cell types in multicellular organisms where the different types of cells may possess different gene expression profiles though they all possess the same genome sequence.

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