Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic

Biochemistry Online




Last Updated: 03/30/16

Learning Goals/Objectives for Chapter 5D:  After class and this reading, students will be able to

  • describe general mechanisms of how a gene for a given protein might be negatively and positively regulated at the level of gene transcription;
  • describe the structure/function/role of promoters, response elements, RNA polymerase, transcription factors, nucleosomes, histone proteins, epigenetic modifications of DNA in gene transcription;
  • explain the differences (structural, Kds) between specific and nonspecific binding of a ligand to a macromolecule, at the structural level;
  • describe the structural features of both proteins and DNA that result in specific and nonspecific binding;
  • describe and give examples of how post-translational modifications of proteins and epigenetic modifications of DNA can alter gene expression;
  • explain how the apparent Kd for a protein binding to DNA can be altered by the presence of another protein bound to DNA at a proximal site
  • describe the basis of RNA interference in gene expression

D8.  Classification of Transcription Factors

As inferred from above, transcription factors can be classified based on their protein structure.  A newer classification scheme, based on the function/activity of the transcription factors, has been proposed by Brivan, Lou and Darnell (Science, 295, pg 813, 2002), as illustrated in the flowchart below, along with specific examples. The classes of transcription factors include those that are:

The rest must be activated by some means, which include those that are:

There are classes of signal-dependent transcription factors that are activated by:

There are two types of receptor-ligand interactions that lead to transcription factor initiation.  

Figure:  Transcription Factors:  Functional Classification


Return to Chapter 5D: Binding and the Control of Gene Transcription

Return to Biochemistry Online Table of Contents

 Archived version of full Chapter 5D:  Binding and the Control of Gene Transcription


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