Eukaryotic Gene Regulation

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

1. The cis-regulativ model of the eukaryotic gene expression: the role of promoters, enhancers and boundary elements (insulators) in the transcriptional regulation of eukaryotic gene expression.

2. Enhancer elements are key moduls of differential gene expression. Functional analysis of enhancers using riporter genes.

3. Trans-elements of the eukaryotic gene expression: transcription factors. Domains of transcription factors. Pax6 and MITF. Families of transcription factors.

4. Methods to identify interactions between cis- and trans-elements. DNA-protein interactions: EMSA, DNA footprint, chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP).

5. The role of protein complexes in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. Examples: HOX/EXD, HOX/EXD/HTH complexes. Methods to identify protein-protein interactions.

6-7. Combinatorial gene regulation in eukaryotes: cell fate determination. Drosophila eve enhancer. Further examples from the embryonic development of Drosophila and C. elegans.

8. Chromatin remodelling: the role of histone-modifications and DNA methylation in gene regulation. Acetylation, deacetylation and methylation of histones. SWI/SNF and NURD complexes.

9-10. Transcriptional regulation of an entire chromosome I-II: sexdetermination and dosage compensation in C. elegans. Dosage compensation in mice: inactivation of the X chromosome: Xic (X inactivation center), the role of Xist and Tsix transcripts.

11. The posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression: posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS), RNA interference I: the discovery of RNA interference in Arabidopsis and in C. elegans.

12. RNA interference II: the mechanism of RNAi in the different model organisms, siRNAs and miRNAs, the role of miRNAs in the eukaryotic gene regulation.

13. RNA interference III: C.elegans: RNAi and cosuppression; isolation of RNAi-defectiv mutants, rde and sid genes.

14. Control of gene expression at the level of translation: selectiv inhibition of mRNA translation; control of RNA expression by cytoplasmic localisation.

  • "An introduction to genetic analysis” (2004), 6th edition, AJF Griffiths, JH Miller, DT Suzuki, RC Lewontin, WM Gelbart

  • "Developmental Biology” (2006), 7th edition, SF Gilbert

  • "Genomic regulatory systems” (2002), EH Davidson