Biology as Poetry: Genetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Transcription Initiation

Process involving promoters, enhancers, DNA-binding proteins, and association of RNA polymerase with the beginning of a gene.

The first step of transcription is the binding of RNA polymerase to a location near the start of a reading frame. Once bound then the elongation step of transcription can proceed.

Transcription initiation can involve numerous interactions between various proteins, most notably with RNA polymerase. These include numerous interactions between protein and, for transcription factors, directly with DNA, that latter particularly in terms interactions with transcription promoter and enhancer sequences.

The initiation of transcription is the most important point of control of gene expression since it not only can obviate a need for post-transcriptional controls but also avoids the expenditure of energy towards biosynthesis, that is, of both RNA and, subsequently, polypeptide.

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