Gene Expression and Cell Control
Country: United States
Date: June 2006
Why do cells control gene expression?
If cells were not able to regulate gene expression, then all cells
would be identical. In othere words, there would be no cell
differentiation. The reason single cell organisms have mechanisms to
control gene expression is that it makes them more metabolically
efficient. If, for example, there is no lactose in their environment,
they don't bother to synthesize the enzymes necessary to breakdown
lactose into glucose and galactose. They do this by shutting down
expression of the lactose metaolizing gene. Look up lactose operon to
learn how this gene expression mechanism works.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012