Special Perspectives

Gene Regulation by Transcription Factors and MicroRNAs

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Science  28 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5871, pp. 1785-1786
DOI: 10.1126/science.1151651

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The properties of a cell are determined by the genetic information encoded in its genome. Understanding how such information is differentially and dynamically retrieved to define distinct cell types and cellular states is a major challenge facing molecular biology. Gene regulatory factors that control the expression of genomic information come in a variety of flavors, with transcription factors and microRNAs representing the most numerous gene regulatory factors in multicellular genomes. Here, I review common principles of transcription factor– and microRNA-mediated gene regulatory events and discuss conceptual differences in how these factors control gene expression.

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