Gene regulation terminology 10-9-14

Gene regulation terminology 10-9-14 - Gene regulation...

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Gene regulation terminology: The following is provided as a sort of explanatory glossary for terms that are commonly used in research on gene regulation in eukaryotes. Hopefully this will provide a more, in depth explanation of terms that are not well covered in the text. Enhancer: A short stretch of DNA some distance from the basal promoter that contains the target sequences for transcription factor binding. It refers only to the DNA sequences that are the binding targets. An enhancer may consist of a single binding site for a transcription factor or, may consist of a cluster of binding sites. Both activators and repressors can bind enhancers. Cis-regulatory sequence: An enhancer is an example of a cis-regulatory sequence as is a promoter element. The term “cis” refers to the fact that the DNA binding site it is on the same linear strand of DNA as the basal promoter. Even though an enhancer sequence, when bound by a transcription factor, bends around to interact with the basal promoter, because it is on the same strand of DNA (not on a different chromosome) it is called cis. Trans acting factor: This usually refers to a transcription factor. The gene that encodes that transcription factor can be located anywhere on any chromosome – so by definition it does not have to be “cis”. Cis-regulatory Module: A module is an enhancer and specifically refers to a cluster of DNA binding sites that are the target sites for various transcription factors. The term is used because often a gene will have many modules, each one an enhancer.
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