Related topics: genes · cells · gene expression · stem cells · dna sequences

How human brain development diverged from great apes

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have presented new insights into the development ...

How time affects the fate of stem cells

How do temporal variations in protein concentrations affect biology? It's a question that biologists have only recently begun to address, and the findings are increasingly showing that random temporal changes in the amount ...

Study furthers radically new view of gene control

In recent years, MIT scientists have developed a new model for how key genes are controlled that suggests the cellular machinery that transcribes DNA into RNA forms specialized droplets called condensates. These droplets ...

Orchestrating development in the fly embryo

Most multicellular organisms on Earth—including you—begin as a single fertilized egg and then undergo a complex choreography of cellular growth to become a functioning adult composed of countless cells. Understanding ...

Genetic discovery may improve corn quality, yields

Researchers may be able to improve corn yields and nutritional value after discovering genetic regulators that synthesize starch and protein in the widely eaten grain, according to a Rutgers-led study.

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Transcription factor

In the field of molecular biology, a transcription factor (sometimes called a sequence-specific DNA binding factor) is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences and thereby controls the transfer (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to mRNA. Transcription factors perform this function alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme which performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes.

A defining feature of transcription factors is that they contain one or more DNA binding domains (DBDs) which attach to specific sequences of DNA adjacent to the genes that they regulate. Additional proteins such as coactivators, chromatin remodelers, histone acetylases, deacetylases, kinases, and methylases, while also playing crucial roles in gene regulation, lack DNA binding domains, and therefore are not classified as transcription factors.

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