Regulation in Eukaryotic Cells

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  • Topic: Gene expression, DNA, Enzyme
  • Pages : 2 (764 words )
  • Download(s) : 50
  • Published : June 1, 2005
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Gene expression is the ability of a gene to produce a biologically active protein. This process is regulated by the cells of an organism, it is very important to the survival of organisms at all levels. This is much more complex in eukaryotes than in prokaryotes. A major difference is the presence in eukaryotes of a nuclear membrane, which prevents the simultaneous transcription and translation that occurs in prokaryotes. Initiation of protein transcription is started by RNA polymerase. The activity of RNA polymerase is regulated by interaction with regulatory proteins; these proteins can act both positively, as activators, and negatively as repressors. An example of gene regulation in cells is the activity of the trp operon. The trp operon encodes the genes for the synthesis of tryptophan. This type of gene, like the lac operon, is regulated by a repressor that binds to the operator sequences. The activity of the trp repressor is enhanced when it binds tryptophan; in this capacity, tryptophan is known as a corepressor. Since the activity of the trp repressor is enhanced in the presence of tryptophan, the rate of expression of the trp operon is graded in response to the level of tryptophan in the cell. Another example of gene regulation in cells is gene amplification. This is a Technique by which selected DNA from a single cell can be duplicated indefinitely until there is a sufficient amount to analyse by conventional genetic techniques. The expression of genes is very complicated and is regulated by a number of things. Something that has a major effect on enzyme regulation and stability is temperature. Since enzymes are biochemical catalysts, made up at least partially of protein, they are sensitive in varying degrees to heat. Raising temperatures of the environment generally multiplies the degree of activity by the enzyme. Once an optimum temperature has been reached, however, temperatures that are too high will denature the enzyme it will loose its ability...
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