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Gene Expression: Overview of Control - The Flow Of Genetic Information From Genes To Proteins, Gene Control Occurs At Several Levels, How Do Cells Regulate Transcription?

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The chromosomes of an organism contain genes that encode all of the RNA and protein molecules required to construct that organism. Gene expression is the process through which information in a gene is used to produce the final gene product: an RNA molecule or a protein.

Each cell in a multicellular organism such as a human contains the same genes as every other cell. Nonetheless, there are hundreds of distinct types of cells in the human body, each expressing a unique set of genes. Indeed, it is this unique constellation of expressed genes that makes each cell type distinct.

Cells may also change the genes they express over time, and they are constantly adjusting the amount of protein made in response to changing conditions. How does a cell express some, but not all, of the genes in its genome? How does it react to environmental changes to adjust the level of Figure 1. The flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins. Control can be exerted at each numbered step. Most control occurs at step one, transcription. gene expression? These are the problems of control of gene expression. While the genes whose final products are RNA molecules are also regulated, this entry will focus on genes that encode proteins.

Gene Families [next] [back] Gene Discovery - Positional Cloning, Complex Diseases - Approaches for Identifying Genes

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