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

New micro-protein helps yeast cells cope with nutrient scarcity

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Montreal (Canada) have discovered that a micro-protein, which they named Nrs1, supports cell division and proliferation when nutrients are scarce. This ...

Revealing the function of Mkx in periodontal ligament homeostasis

In molecular biology, transcription is the process of copying a segment of DNA into RNA, whereas a transcription factor (or TF) is a protein that controls the rate of copying this segment. The segments of DNA transcribed ...

A study uncovers the 'grammar' behind human gene regulation

A research group at the University of Helsinki has discovered the logic that controls gene regulation in human cells. In the future, this new knowledge could be used for investigating cancers and other genetic diseases.

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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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