Eukaryotic Gene RegulationFrom Chromatin to Transcription to mRNA Processing

Published October 2007 Updated August 2015 20 lectures
Prof. Michael Carey
University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Prof. Stephen Smale
University of California, Los Angeles, USA

In multicellular eukaryotes, a single fertilized egg develops into an organism possessing and functions during development. Unique combinations of signaling molecules and transcription factors hundreds of distinct cell types. Differential gene expression reprograms stem cells present within the early embryo to achieve specific identities, whose functions intersect at the promoters... read moreand enhancers of responsive genes, and RNA based mechanisms including alternative splicing and RNA interference, are the major mechanisms regulating differential gene expression.

Differential gene expression is also central to an organism's response to external stimuli, including the immune system's response to microbial infection and the cognitive signals necessary for learning and memory. Importantly, misregulated gene expression forms the basis for many human diseases, including cancer, which can be caused by mutations in signaling molecules and transcription factors or by epigenetic mechanisms.

The emerging role of epigenetic control of gene expression is now impacting all aspects of gene regulation from stem cell differentiation to cancer. Over the past 25 years, great advances have been made in our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of normal and aberrant gene regulation.

This series has been designed as a broad introduction to the gene regulation field, with an emphasis on current knowledge of fundamental mechanisms regulating transcription, chromatin structure, and RNA processing, as well as the most recent advances in this broadly important research area.