AP Biology ch 18

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AP Biology ch 18
2012-01-20 20:15:52
Biology Colony High School

Key Terms
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  1. activator
    A protein that binds to DNA and stimulates gene transcription. In prokaryotes, activators bind in or near the promoter; in eukaryotes, activators bind to control elements in enhancers.
  2. alternative RNA splicing
    A type of eukaryotic gene regulation at the RNA-processing level in which different mRNA molecules are produced from the same primary transcript, depending on which RNA segments are treated as exons and which as introns.
  3. bicoid
    A maternal effect gene that codes for a protein responsible for specifying the anterior end in Drosophila.
  4. cell differentiation
    The structural and functional divergence of cells as they become specialized during a multicellular organism’s development. Cell differentiation depends on the control of gene expression.
  5. control element
    A segment of noncoding DNA that helps regulate transcription of a gene by binding a transcription factor. Multiple control elements are present in a eukaryotic gene’s enhancer.
  6. corepressor
    A small molecule that binds to a bacterial repressor protein and changes its shape, allowing it to switch an operon off.
  7. cyclic AMP (cAMP)
    Cyclic adenosine monophosphate, a ring-shaped molecule made from ATP that is a common intracellular signaling molecule (second messenger) in eukaryotic cells. It is also a regulator of some bacterial operons.
  8. cytoplasmic determinant
    A maternal substance, such as a protein or RNA, placed into an egg that influences the course of early development by regulating the expression of genes that affect the developmental fate of cells.
  9. determination
    The progressive restriction of developmental potential in which the possible fate of each cell becomes more limited as an embryo develops. At the end of determination, a cell is committed to its fate.
  10. differential gene expression
    The expression of different sets of genes by cells with the same genome.
  11. egg-polarity gene
    A gene that helps control the orientation (polarity) of the egg; also called a maternal effect gene.
  12. embryonic lethal
    A mutation with a phenotype leading to death of an embryo or larva.
  13. enhancer
    A segment of eukaryotic DNA containing multiple control elements, usually located far from the gene whose transcription it regulates.
  14. epigenetic inheritance
    Inheritance of traits transmitted by mechanisms not directly involving the nucleotide sequence of a genome.
  15. feedback inhibition
    A method of metabolic control in which the end product of a metabolic pathway acts as an inhibitor of an enzyme within that pathway.
  16. genomic imprinting
    A phenomenon in which expression of an allele in offspring depends on whether the allele is inherited from the male or female parent.
  17. histone
    (his´-ton) A small protein with a high proportion of positively charged amino acids that binds to the negatively charged DNA and plays a key role in chromatin structure.
  18. histone acetylation
    The attachment of acetyl groups to certain amino acids of histone proteins.
  19. homeotic gene
    (ho-me-o'-tik) Any of the master regulatory genes that control placement and spatial organization of body parts in animals, plants, and fungi by controlling the developmental fate of groups of cells.
  20. inducer
    A specific small molecule that binds to a bacterial repressor protein and changes the repressor's shape so that it cannot bind to an operator, thus switching an operon on.
  21. induction
    The process in which one group of embryonic cells influences the development of another, usually by causing changes in gene expression.
  22. maternal effect gene
    A gene that, when mutant in the mother, results in a mutant phenotype in the offspring, regardless of the offspring’s genotype. Maternal effect genes were first identified in Drosophila.
  23. microRNA (miRNA)
    A small, single-stranded RNA molecule, generated from a hairpin structure on a precursor RNA transcribed from a particular gene. The miRNA associates with one or more proteins in a complex that can degrade or prevent translation of an mRNA with a complementary sequence.
  24. morphogen
    A substance, such as Bicoid protein in Drosophila, that provides positional information in the form of a concentration gradient along an embryonic axis.
  25. morphogenesis
    (mor´-fo-jen´-uh-sis) The development of body shape and organization.
  26. oncogene
    (on´-ko-jen) A gene found in viral or cellular genomes that is involved in triggering molecular events that can lead to cancer.
  27. operator
    In bacterial DNA, a sequence of nucleotides near the start of an operon to which an active repressor can attach. The binding of the repressor prevents RNA polymerase from attaching to the promoter and transcribing the genes of the operon.
  28. operon
    (op´-er-on) A unit of genetic function found in bacteria and phages, consisting of a promoter, an operator, and a coordinately regulated cluster of genes whose products function in a common pathway.
  29. p53 gene
    A tumor-suppressor gene that codes for a specific transcription factor that promotes the synthesis of cell cycle–inhibiting proteins.
  30. pattern formation
    The development of a multicellular organism’s spatial organization, the arrangement of organs and tissues in their characteristic places in three-dimensional space.
  31. polyp
    The sessile variant of the cnidarian body plan. The alternate form is the medusa.
  32. positional information
    Molecular cues that control pattern formation in an animal or plant embryonic structure by indicating a cell’s location relative to the organism’s body axes. These cues elicit a response by genes that regulate development.
  33. proteasome
    A giant protein complex that recognizes and destroys proteins tagged for elimination by the small protein ubiquitin.
  34. proto-oncogene
    (pro´-to-on´-ko-jen) A normal cellular gene that has the potential to become an oncogene.
  35. ras gene
    A gene that codes for Ras, a G protein that relays a growth signal from a growth factor receptor on the plasma membrane to a cascade of protein kinases, ultimately resulting in stimulation of the cell cycle.
  36. regulatory gene
    A gene that codes for a protein, such as a repressor, that controls the transcription of another gene or group of genes.
  37. repressor
    A protein that inhibits gene transcription. In prokaryotes, repressors bind to the DNA in or near the promoter. In eukaryotes, repressors may bind to control elements within enhancers, to activators, or to other proteins in a way that blocks activators from binding to DNA.
  38. RNA interference (RNAi)
    A technique used to silence the expression of selected genes. RNAi uses synthetic double-stranded RNA molecules that match the sequence of a particular gene to trigger the breakdown of the gene’s messenger RNA.
  39. small interfering RNA (siRNA)
    A small, single-stranded RNA molecule generated by cellular machinery from a long, double-stranded RNA molecule. The siRNA associates with one or more proteins in a complex that can degrade or prevent translation of an mRNA with a complementary sequence. In some cases, siRNA can also block transcription by promoting chromatin modification.
  40. tumor-suppressor gene
    A gene whose protein product inhibits cell division, thereby preventing the uncontrolled cell growth that contributes to cancer.