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

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.

Taming the genome's 'jumping' sequences

The human genome is fascinating. Once predicted to contain about a hundred thousand protein-coding genes, it now seems that the number is closer to twenty thousand, and maybe less. And although our genome is made up of about ...

Researchers explain signals of CpG 'traffic lights' in DNA

A research team featuring bioinformaticians from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) has identified reliable markers of gene activity. The discovery has potential for future applications in clinical practice. ...

Scientists develop methods to validate gene regulation networks

A team of biologists and computer scientists has mapped out a network of interactions for how plant genes coordinate their response to nitrogen, a crucial nutrient and the main component of fertilizer. The work, published ...

Zooming in on an inner-cell DNA repair shop

Inside every cell in your body are molecular machines that help package, read, and repair DNA. These protein assemblies are essential to survival, yet we know little about how they function because, until recently, it was ...

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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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