The set of genes in the genome specifies the RNA or protein products that are responsible for the structure and functions of the cell, and hence of the organism. As early as in 1902, Garrod provided the first evidence of the relationship between genes and their enzyme products by studying human genetic diseases that affected biochemical processes. This led to an era of biochemical genetics, when Beadle and Tatum (1941) elucidated metabolic pathways by combining genetic and biochemical studies, and proposed their one-gene one-enzyme hypothesis (later modified as one-gene one-polypeptide). Other key studies that laid the foundations of the molecular basis of gene regulation include Griffith's discovery (1928) that DNA is the genetic material, the elucidation of the physical structure of DNA double helix by Watson and Crick (1953) and Jacob and Monod?s operon model (1961) for regulation of the lac gene of E. Coli.
The earlier studies on gene regulation were on the unicellular prokaryotes, and were extensions of the operon model. These have been covered in chapters 1-4 of the present book. When the basics of eukaryote gene regulation mechanisms were worked out, it became evident that there were fundamental differences in the regulatory processes in the two groups. Eukaryote gene regulation mechanisms are covered in the subsequent chapters (5-9). Both eukaryote general and special mechanisms of gene regulation have been dealt with. Special emphasis has been placed on recent advances in translational and post-translational regulation of eukaryote genes. The last chapter deals specifically with regulation of plant genes.
A study of how genes are regulated is essential for understanding normal development and disease, and recombinant DNA technology. Examples have been included with this objective in view. The book is primarily directed towards post-graduate students in the biological sciences such as botany, zoology, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology. It should also be useful to medical students and to biologists who wish to have an overview of the gene regulation processes before embarking on advanced studies.
1. The Genome
2. Gene Regulation I : Prokaryotes
3. Prokaryote Gene Regulation Mechanisms
4. Eukaryote General Mchanisms I : Transcriptional Regulation
5. Eukaryote General Mchanisms II : Post Transcriptional Regulation
6. Eukaryote General Mchanisms III : Translational Regulation
7. Post Translational Regulation
8. Eukaryote Special Mechanisms of Gene Regulation
9. Regulation of Plant Genes