Transcription factor

transcription factorsgene transcription factortranscriptional factorsfactorstranscriptiontranscriptional regulatorupstream binding factoractivatorsDNA activationfactoring
In molecular biology, a transcription factor (TF) (or sequence-specific DNA-binding factor) is a protein that controls the rate of transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA, by binding to a specific DNA sequence.wikipedia
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Activator (genetics)

activatortranscriptional activatoractivators
TFs work alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme that performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes.
A transcriptional activator is a protein (transcription factor) that increases gene transcription of a gene or set of genes.

Coactivator (genetics)

coactivatorcoactivatorsco-activator
Other proteins such as coactivators, chromatin remodelers, histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetylases, kinases, and methylases are also essential to gene regulation, but lack DNA-binding domains, and therefore are not TFs.
A coactivator is a type of transcriptional coregulator that binds to an activator (a transcription factor) to increase the rate of transcription of a gene or set of genes.

RNA polymerase

DNA-dependent RNA polymeraseRNAPRNA polymerases
TFs work alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme that performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes. This collection of transcription factors, in turn, recruit intermediary proteins such as cofactors that allow efficient recruitment of the preinitiation complex and RNA polymerase.
A transcription factor and its associated transcription mediator complex must be attached to a DNA binding site called a promoter region before RNAP can initiate the DNA unwinding at that position.

Histone acetyltransferase

histone acetylationhistone acetyltransferasesHAT
Other proteins such as coactivators, chromatin remodelers, histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetylases, kinases, and methylases are also essential to gene regulation, but lack DNA-binding domains, and therefore are not TFs.
When it was first discovered, it was thought that acetylation of lysine neutralizes the positive charge normally present, thus reducing affinity between histone and (negatively charged) DNA, which renders DNA more accessible to transcription factors.

Transcription (biology)

transcriptiontranscribedtranscriptional
TFs work alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme that performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes. In molecular biology, a transcription factor (TF) (or sequence-specific DNA-binding factor) is a protein that controls the rate of transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA, by binding to a specific DNA sequence.
Transcription begins with the binding of RNA polymerase, together with one or more general transcription factors, to a specific DNA sequence referred to as a "promoter" to form an RNA polymerase-promoter "closed complex".

Gene expression

expressionexpressedexpress
The function of TFs is to regulate—turn on and off—genes in order to make sure that they are expressed in the right cell at the right time and in the right amount throughout the life of the cell and the organism.
In eukaryotes, transcription is performed by three types of RNA polymerases, each of which needs a special DNA sequence called the promoter and a set of DNA-binding proteins—transcription factors—to initiate the process.

Enhancer (genetics)

enhancerenhancersgene enhancer
Other transcription factors differentially regulate the expression of various genes by binding to enhancer regions of DNA adjacent to regulated genes.
These proteins are usually referred to as transcription factors.

General transcription factor

transcription factorsbasal transcriptionbasal transcription factor
In eukaryotes, an important class of transcription factors called general transcription factors (GTFs) are necessary for transcription to occur.
General transcription factors (GTFs), also known as basal transcriptional factors, are a class of protein transcription factors that bind to specific sites (promoter) on DNA to activate transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA.

DNA-binding domain

DNA binding domainDNA bindingDNA-binding
A defining feature of TFs is that they contain at least one DNA-binding domain (DBD), which attaches to a specific sequence of DNA adjacent to the genes that they regulate.
For example, proteins that regulate transcription by binding DNA are called transcription factors.

Developmental biology

developmentdevelopmental biologistdevelopmental
Hence, the combinatorial use of a subset of the approximately 2000 human transcription factors easily accounts for the unique regulation of each gene in the human genome during development.
These genes encode transcription factors which upregulate new combinations of gene activity in each region.

DNA

deoxyribonucleic aciddouble-stranded DNAdsDNA
In molecular biology, a transcription factor (TF) (or sequence-specific DNA-binding factor) is a protein that controls the rate of transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA, by binding to a specific DNA sequence.
As a result, proteins such as transcription factors that can bind to specific sequences in double-stranded DNA usually make contact with the sides of the bases exposed in the major groove.

Promoter (genetics)

promoterpromoterspromoter region
The preinitiation complex binds to promoter regions of DNA upstream to the gene that they regulate.
Promoters contain specific DNA sequences such as response elements that provide a secure initial binding site for RNA polymerase and for proteins called transcription factors that recruit RNA polymerase.

Hypoxia-inducible factors

hypoxia-inducible factorHIF-1hypoxia inducible factor
Examples include heat shock factor (HSF), which upregulates genes necessary for survival at higher temperatures, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), which upregulates genes necessary for cell survival in low-oxygen environments, and sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP), which helps maintain proper lipid levels in the cell.
Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are transcription factors that respond to decreases in available oxygen in the cellular environment, or hypoxia.

Transcription factor II A

TFIIA
The most common GTFs are TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIID (see also TATA binding protein), TFIIE, TFIIF, and TFIIH.
TFIIA is one of several general (basal) transcription factors (GTFs) that are required for all transcription events that use RNA polymerase II.

Sterol regulatory element-binding protein

SREBPsterol regulatory element binding proteinSREBP-1c
Examples include heat shock factor (HSF), which upregulates genes necessary for survival at higher temperatures, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), which upregulates genes necessary for cell survival in low-oxygen environments, and sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP), which helps maintain proper lipid levels in the cell.
Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are transcription factors that bind to the sterol regulatory element DNA sequence TCACNCCAC.

Transcription factor II D

TFIIDtranscription factor IIDB-TFIID
The most common GTFs are TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIID (see also TATA binding protein), TFIIE, TFIIF, and TFIIH.
It consists of RNA polymerase II, a subset of general transcription factors, and regulatory proteins known as SRB proteins.

Myc

c-MyccMycc-Myb
One example is the Myc oncogene, which has important roles in cell growth and apoptosis.
Myc is a family of regulator genes and proto-oncogenes that code for transcription factors.

Estrogen receptor

estrogenERestrogen receptors
Estrogen signaling is an example of a fairly short signaling cascade that involves the estrogen receptor transcription factor: Estrogen is secreted by tissues such as the ovaries and placenta, crosses the cell membrane of the recipient cell, and is bound by the estrogen receptor in the cell's cytoplasm.
Once activated by estrogen, the ER is able to translocate into the nucleus and bind to DNA to regulate the activity of different genes (i.e. it is a DNA-binding transcription factor).

Testis-determining factor

SRYSRY genetestis determining factor
Another example is the transcription factor encoded by the Sex-determining Region Y (SRY) gene, which plays a major role in determining sex in humans.
When complexed with the SF1 protein, TDF acts as a transcription factor that causes upregulation of other transcription factors, most importantly SOX9.

DNA binding site

transcription factor binding sitebinding sitestranscription factor binding sites
The estrogen receptor then goes to the cell's nucleus and binds to its DNA-binding sites, changing the transcriptional regulation of the associated genes.
DNA binding sites are often associated with specialized proteins known as transcription factors, and are thus linked to transcriptional regulation.

STAT protein

STATSTAT transcription factorsstat1 transcription factor
Three groups of transcription factors are known to be important in human cancer: (1) the NF-kappaB and AP-1 families, (2) the STAT family and (3) the steroid receptors.
Members of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) protein family are intracellular transcription factors that mediate many aspects of cellular immunity, proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation.

Nuclear receptor

nuclear receptorsnuclearmechanism
Important classes of transcription factors such as some nuclear receptors must first bind a ligand while in the cytoplasm before they can relocate to the nucleus.
Nuclear receptors have the ability to directly bind to DNA and regulate the expression of adjacent genes, hence these receptors are classified as transcription factors.

Transcription coregulator

transcriptional coregulatorycoregulatorscoregulatory
This collection of transcription factors, in turn, recruit intermediary proteins such as cofactors that allow efficient recruitment of the preinitiation complex and RNA polymerase.
In molecular biology and genetics, transcription coregulators are proteins that interact with transcription factors to either activate or repress the transcription of specific genes.

Corepressor

corepressorsco-repressorco-repressors
A corepressor downregulates (or represses) the expression of genes by binding to and activating a repressor transcription factor.

Transactivation domain

9aaTADActivation domaintrans-activating domain
The transactivation domain or trans-activating domain (TAD) is a transcription factor scaffold domain which contains binding sites for other proteins such as transcription coregulators.