New technology will show how RNA regulates gene activity

The discovery of a huge number of long non-protein coding RNAs, aka lncRNAs, in the mammalian genome was a major surprise of the recent large-scale genomics projects. An international team including a bioinformatician from ...

Droplets are key to cells' dynamic activities

A cell is a complex machine whose flexible architecture enables it to take part in life's activities: relaying information, managing waste, responding to stress.

Researchers move closer to producing heparin in the lab

In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), University of California San Diego researchers moved one step closer to the ability to make heparin in cultured cells. Heparin is ...

Layered liquids: Reaction chambers for gene regulation

A marvel of complexity, the nucleus is the command center of the cell—harboring information, codes and controlled access. But different from man-made command centers, the nuclear interior looks chaotic to the eye of a scientist. ...

Research shows microplastics are damaging to coral ecosystems

Microplastics are a growing environmental concern, and the effects of this waste product on coral are highlighted in research published in Chemosphere from an international team of researchers including UConn marine science ...

New tool probes gene regulation

DNA methylation (DNAme) is a modification of the genome—an epigenetic "mark"—that is required for proper cellular differentiation. It has been implicated in the regulation of gene expression, but its role in this stepwise ...

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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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