How Can Knowledge Of Gene Regulation Be Used To Cure Diseases?

How does gene regulation relate to cancer development?

Cancer results from a gene that is not normally expressed in a cell, but is switched on and expressed at high levels due to mutations or alterations in gene regulation.

Tumor suppressor genes, active in normal cells, work to prevent uncontrolled cell growth.

What happens when gene regulation goes wrong?

These alterations are called mutations, and can accumulate over a lifetime. Errors in genes that control cell division can cause cancers. For a cell to become cancerous, a number of genetic mutations have to take place. Inside the cell it is damaged by the harmful byproducts of life-sustaining chemical reactions.

How is gene expression regulated?

Eukaryotic gene expression is regulated during transcription and RNA processing, which take place in the nucleus, and during protein translation, which takes place in the cytoplasm. Further regulation may occur through post-translational modifications of proteins.

How do genes impact health and disease?

Many conditions and diseases are related to genes in some way. Some mutations may be in a single gene, although most disorders are more complex. Many diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are caused by issues with multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors.

What genes help to control the production of cancer cells?

Tumor Suppressor Genes, Oncogenes, and CancerThese are tumor suppressor genes, which are active in normal cells to prevent uncontrolled cell growth. There are many tumor suppressor genes in cells, but the one most studied is p53, which is mutated in over 50 percent of all cancer types.

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Can gene expression be altered?

Several genetic or epigenetic events can alter gene expression and we assess their importance in multistage carcinogenesis. Mutation and chromosome rearrangement can produce changes in DNA sequence which have been identified in some cancer cells.

Can a hormone turn a gene on or off?

Fat-Soluble HormonesEasily pass through the phospho-lipid bilayer of the cell membrane of all cells. If the proper Receptor Protein is present in a cell the Hormone will combine with it and turn on or turn off genes in that cell. The Hormone-Receptor Protein Complex in some way interacts with Transcription Factors.

Can genes be damaged?

DNA can be damaged via environmental factors as well. Environmental agents such as UV light, ionizing radiation, and genotoxic chemicals. Replication forks can be stalled due to damaged DNA and double strand breaks are also a form of DNA damage.

How can a gene be turned off?

Each cell expresses, or turns on, only a fraction of its genes. The rest of the genes are repressed, or turned off. The process of turning genes on and off is known as gene regulation. Gene regulation is an important part of normal development.

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