Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes

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  • Mom, can you help me with my biology homework?
  • Of course! What do you need help with?
  • Do you know anything about gene regulation in eukaryotes?
  • Yes I do!
  • Well is there a system for gene organization?
  • Yes, since eukaryotes have more DNA than prokaryotes, they have two regulatory systems: histone packing and unpacking regions and transcription factors.
  • Histones are responsible for packing and unpacking DNA regions. For example, acetylation loosens DNA which allows more transcription. In contrast, methylation packs DNA tightly which results in less transcription.
  • What are the histones responsible for?
  • What about the transcription factors?
  • The transcription factors regulate the RNA polymerase access to the promoter which can turn the expression "on" or "off".
  • Well the cells have to find and activate the right gene at the right time. Also, the cells need to be able to turn genes “off” and “on” in response to internal or external environmental changes. It is also important that the cells regulate gene expression during development. Now finish your homework!
  • Thank you so much Mom! But one more question, why do eukaryotes need gene regulation?
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