Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

Chemical kinetics of induced gene expression: activation of transcription by noncooperative binding of multiple regulatory molecules.

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Enzymes: ge, Gene-Expression-Regulation, Genes-Regulator, Genes-Structural, Kinetics, Mathematics, Models-Genetic, Proteins: ge, RNA-Messenger: ge, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Transcription-Genetic, Translation-Genetic

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Biochemistry 1988 Mar 22; 27(6):2094-102.




A chemical kinetics model is described for the regulation of gene expression by the progressive binding of regulatory molecules to specific binding sites on DNA. Chemical rate equations are formulated and solved for the accumulation of regulatory molecules on DNA, the change in the level of induced mRNA, and the change in the level of the encoded protein in the activated tissue. Some special cases are examined, including that of an activation threshold created by a requirement for the binding of a minimum number of regulatory molecules prior to gene activation. Experimental data for several hormone-activated genetic systems are analyzed in the frame of the proposed model, and kinetic parameters are predicted. The model accounts for a number of experimental characteristics of hormone-inducible genetic systems, including the existence of a lag in the time course of mRNA accumulation, the sigmoidal curve of induced mRNA kinetics, the effect of hormone on mRNA stabilization, and the induction parameters observed when hormone analogues are used. The model also provides an explanation for the phenotypes of genetic variants with altered inducibility as changes in the molecular kinetic parameters of gene activity.

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