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Mike Levine (UC Berkeley) Part 1: Transcriptional Precision: Enhancers

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Published on Jun 25, 2012

Levine discusses the important role of precisely regulating gene expression
during animal development. The Drosophila embryo provides a model system
because during early embryogenesis a syncytium with about 6000 synchronously
dividing nuclei is formed before membranes are laid down to separate the nuclei
and areas of regulated gene expression are created. These regions of specific gene
expression ultimately determine the body plan of the organism.
In Part 1 of his lecture, Levine emphasizes the importance of enhancers
in regulating localized gene expression. Enhancers are elements located up or
downstream from the transcription start site of a gene and they bind activators
and repressors of gene expression. By integrating the effect of activators and
repressors, enhancers produce sharp on/off boundaries of gene expression.

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