Science Questions

How is gene expression controlled in tissues

Mon, 16th Dec 2013

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Question

Oleg, Facebook asked:

How is tissue-specific gene expression achieved?

Answer

Richard Adams - Two basic ways. It's controlled in a positive way by specifically switching on particular genes as a response to signals that particular cells are experiencing. But it's also Dnahelix1controlled by reducing the compliment of genes that are available to be switched on by silencing genes in particular places. Where cells in particular tissues become more specialised, they silence more and more of their DNA, and therefore reduce the possible responses that they can have to the signal.

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