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Gene Expression: Overview of Control

When The Regulation Of Gene Expression Fails

When the control of gene expression fails, there can be serious consequences, such as death, birth defects, and cancer. Birth defects can result when the regulation of one or more genes important for development is lost. This often occurs because of a mutation, but it can also occur if the embryo or fetus is exposed to certain chemicals, such as alcohol. Mutations in the receptor for fibroblast growth factor, for instance, cause dwarfism. Cancer occurs when the regulation of genes that control growth and cell division, programmed cell death (apoptosis), and cell migration are lost.

Eric Aamodt


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Lodish, Harvey, et al. Molecular Cell Biology, 4th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2000.

Struhl, K. "Gene Regulation. A Paradigm for Precision." Science 293 (2001):1054-1055.

Tjian, R. "Molecular Machines That Control Genes." Scientific American 272, no. 2(1995): 54-61.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 2Gene Expression: Overview of Control - The Flow Of Genetic Information From Genes To Proteins, Gene Control Occurs At Several Levels, How Do Cells Regulate Transcription?