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Control of Gene Expression - Eukaryotes

Control of Gene Expression - Eukaryotes

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Regulation of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes

This tutorial addresses the multiple ways that Eukaryotes can control gene expression. Unlike prokaryotes, they have control points right at the DNA packing level with epigenetics, at pre- and post-transcription, leaving the nucleus through the nuclear pores, gene silencing with RNAi and other RNA molecules, controls on transcription as well as the "lifespan" of the mRNA transcript and the protein produced. Note the concepts that you are not going to be assessed on. They are present in order to provide a completer understanding of the degree of control in Eukaryotes.

Source: M. O'Mahony, open source images

Control of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes

Source: M. O'Mahony, open source images

Student Notes Template

This notes template is for the students to take their notes. This contains the figures from the tutorial


Source: M. O'Mahony, Open Source images

Control of Eukaryotic Expression - Overview

Source: McGraw-Hill

Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

General transcription factors, activators, and repressors interact to regulate the transcription of eukaryotic DNA into RNA.

Source: HHMI Biointeractive

Control of Eurkaryotic Transcription (Initiation)

Review of the process of Initiation of Transcription then how this system can be enhanced by activator proteins.

Epigenetic Control of Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Molecular movie containing a brief introduction to the nucleosome and histone code, as well as euchromatin and heterochromatin states.

Source: Cell Signalling Technology

Ghost in Your Genes - NOVA videoclip

This 2:32 min videoclip (a preview) from NOVA gives an excellent overview of how epigenetics impacts gene briefly examining its role in cancer.

Source: NOVA

Control of Eukaryotic Expression - DNA Packing

This is another video explaining how epigenetics can affect chromatin packing - and through this, DNA expression.

Source: YouTube: kosigrim

Epigenetics - Sci Am Aug 2014

Recent article in Scientific American about Epigenetics. Nice relatively easy read giving a good overview of epigenetics, inheritance and some implications - that most of us haven't thought about.



Why DNA is not your Destiny - Time 2010

Why your DNA is not your
Short, good article


Source: Time newsmagazine Jan 2010

Epigenetic Control Interactive

can be found at

This is an easy and quick animation that makes the concept of epigenetic control straightforward to understand in context.  It looks at the expression of the GFP protein - the same one you inserted into a bacteria in M4!

Signals from the outside world can work through the epigenome to change a cell's gene expression.

In the activity below, you act as the signal. As you turn the control knob, epigenetic tags come and go to change the shape of the gene.

Notice what happens to the mRNA and protein levels when you manipulate the epigenetic tags on the gene. Gene, mRNA, and protein production are linked. They change together.

Source: Learn Genetics (Genetic Science Learning Centre, University of Utah)

A Binding Protein & Epigenetics

This animation shows how one of the protein factors can interact with epigenetic processes to affect transcription

Source: HHMI Interactive

RNAi - NOVA videoclip

Videoclip on RNAi and its discovery with petunia expression.

Source: PBS - NOVA

Small Silencing RNA's and Gene Therapy

This is an article worth reading!


Source: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE SCIENCES & 2010, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Virtual Lab/Interactive Activity

This is a directed worksheet activity that will have links to the websites along with directions on what to look for.


Source: AP Bio (Gardner) New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, NY

Post-Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes

Source: Pearson Publishing


Article from the HHMI fall 2014 bulletin. This 2 pager summarizes updated understanding of how miRNA works.


Source: HHMI Bulletin (fall 2014)

RNA Interference

The BEST intro to RNAi is

Another of HHMI's "Click & Learn" activities.  This one can be found at

Great interactive for RNAi

Source: HHMI Click & Learn, NOVA

Gene Switches

Recent discoveries have shown that much of evolution takes place not by the creation of new genes but by changing the way existing genes are used. Genetic switches are keys that enable old genes to be used in new ways.  This is another way of controlling Eukaryotic (primarily) gene expression.

The "Click and Learn" activity above is complemented by the animation at

Source: HHMI Biointeractive

Regulation of the Lactase Gene

Attached is a worksheet with directed analysis questions developed to complement the "Click and Learn" activity developed by the HHMI team (this worksheet by Ann Brokaw) to complement the 2011 HHMI Holiday lectures, "Bones, Stones and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans" . You can find the activity at:


Source: Ann Brokaw, Rocky River High School, OH

Summary: Areas of Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Source: Pearson Publishing

EXTENSION: Gene Expression in Different Cell (types)

To understand what a gene does, particularly its role in an organism's development, it is useful to know where and when it is turned on. Visualization is an important means to identify these patterns. Also featured on the HHMI DVD Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads, available free from HHMI.

Source: HHMI Biointeractive