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Gene Regulation

Gene Regulation

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Gene Regulation

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  1. Gene Regulation • Remember! All of your cells contain the exact same DNA. • Your nerve cells do not look like or act like skin cells, so do they use the same genes? NO!

  2. Gene Regulation • Genes are to be turned on/off based on whether they will be used or not! • When a gene is on, it is said to be expressed.

  3. Gene Expression & Regulation

  4. Basic Structure of a Gene • When looking at a gene sequence, there are several important regions that enzymes & other proteins recognize.

  5. Basic Structure of a Gene • Promoter: region of gene where RNA Polymerase binds • Start: transcription begins • Stop: transcription ends • Regulatory Sites: near the promoter where regulatory proteins bind (turn genes on/off)

  6. Prokaryotic Gene Regulation • Remember! Prokaryotes have a single chromosome & are unicellular. • Small amount of DNA (simple) • Turn genes on/off to be efficient • Operon: group of genes that operate together for a function (turned on/off together) • Inducible • Repressible

  7. Prokaryotic Operon

  8. The Promoter Sequence • DNA sequence where RNA Polymerase binds • Remember! RNA Polymerase will make mRNA during transcription.

  9. The Operator Sequence • DNA sequence where a repressor protein binds

  10. Repressor Proteins • Bind to the operator sequence & block transcription • When the repressor is bound, NO GENES ARE EXPRESSED!

  11. 2 Types of Operons • Inducible Operon: normally “off” but can be switched “on” • In the presence of a substance, the substance causes the repressor to let go. • Repressible Operon: normally “on” but can be switched “off” • In the presence of a substance, the substance causes the repressor to bind to the operator.

  12. The lac Operon • E. coli uses lactose (sugar) as a food source. • The lactose needs to be metabolized (broken down). • There are 3 genes in the lac operon that work together to metabolize the lactose. • The presence or absence of lactose determines whether the genes are turned on/off. • Why would the bacteria express genes to break down lactose if there is no lactose?

  13. The lac operon will be turned on when: • Lactose is present • Lactose is absent When lactose is present! There would be no point in expressing genes to break down lactose if there is no lactose.

  14. When lactose is absent… • The repressor is bound & blocks transcription of the lac operon.

  15. Add lactose…

  16. The lac operon: • Normally “on” • Normally “off” Normally “off” (the repressor is bound)!

  17. The lac operon: • Inducible • Repressible Inducible! The operon is turned “on” when lactose is present!

  18. The lac Operon

  19. Eukaryotic Gene Regulation • No operons, genes are regulated individually • Similar process, but is much more complex than prokaryotic gene regulation

  20. Eukaryotic Gene Regulation • There is a promoter, several enhancers, & a “TATA Box” • TATA: helps position RNA Polymerase • Enhancers can act like operators & block transcription, & others can signal to unpack chromatin

  21. Eukaryotic Gene Regulation • Exons are EXPRESSED. • Introns are cut out of the mRNA copy & not expressed.

  22. Fun Fact! • Over 98% of the human genome is considered “junk” DNA! • This DNA is not expressed & the function is unknown.

  23. Cell Differentiation • After fertilization & mitosis occurs, cells specialize into their life-long functions. • Differentiation is controlled by hox genes. • Some genes get turned off permanently (your liver cells do not express genes that make proteins in the skin). • Manipulation of these genes can alter what parts grow where (a leg out of your head?!).

  24. Humans carry the gene for a tail, but it’s usually turned off!