Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stabilized, not activated   posted by Coffee Mug @ 9/27/2006 06:01:00 AM

The Daily Transcript reports on a PNAS study showing that transcription occurs in bursts. Transcription factors (regulators of when a gene is "on" or "off") are often characterized as 'activators' or repressors. The paper suggests activators may instead be stabilizers. Genes are always flipping back and forth between different levels of on and off states and when transcription factors bind they can hold one state steady. When upregulation happens a gene isn't 'turned on', it is just kept on. He's got a nice little def. of transcription on the left there. You are eventually gonna need to know what transcription and translation are. Might as well be now.