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12: Gene Regulation and the Cell Cycle

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    Learning objectives

    1. Describe the structure of the nucleus and the nuclear envelope.
    2. Describe the role of transcription factors in the control of gene expression in eukaryotes.
    3. Describe the common features of transcription factor structure, especially DNA-binding sites.
    4. Describe the strategies used by eukaryotes to regulate gene expression at the level of transcription, mRNA processing, translation, and post-translation.
    5. Outline and define the stages in the cell cycle: M, G1, S, G2, and, occasionally, G0.
    6. Describe the control of the cell cycle, emphasizing the participation of protein kinases and cyclins in the process.
    7. Emphasize the idea of checkpoints in the cell cycle and their importance to cell survival.
    8. Describe what is known about the mechanisms of genetic recombination during meiosis.

    Gene expression patterns are complex and dynamic. The expression of a gene can be regulated on many levels and will be influenced in a tissue-specific (basis for different cell types) pattern, can be developmentally controlled (temporal and spatial expression patterns), or can be environmentally influenced (induction in response to external stimuli).

    Some genes (the so-called “house-keeping genes”) are likely (constitutively) expressed in all cell types since certain proteins (and RNAs) are involved in the basic metabolic processes common to all cell types. Other genes are expressed in one cell type but not another (e.g., certain immune cells normally synthesize antibodies, but neurons do not). Thus, different cell types arise because of differential gene expression, and the RNA and protein content of different cell types shows considerable variation.

    Thumbnail: Grey, Kindred, Chapter 12. 2021. CC BY-SA 4.0. Adapted from Meiosis Stages by Ali Zifan. CC BY-SA 4.0. From Wikimedia Commons.

    This page titled 12: Gene Regulation and the Cell Cycle is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Renee J. LeClair (Virginia Tech Libraries' Open Education Initiative) .

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