Mining Genomes

Microarray Analysis and the Analysis of Gene Expression

This exercise introduces the powerful technique of microarray analysis, one of the most potent tools in bioinformatics. After a general introduction to microarrays, you will explore the use of microarrays in studies of gene expression. You will use SAGE (Serial Analysis of Gene Expression) to try to identify which genes are important in the development of specific diseases.


Name six different levels at which gene expression might be * 2. Draw a picture illustrating the general structure of an controlled. operon and identify its parts.

3. What is the difference between positive and negative control? What is the difference between inducible and repressible operons?

* 4. Briefly describe the lac operon and how it controls the metabolism of lactose.

5. What is catabolite repression? How does it allow a bacterial cell to use glucose in preference to other sugars?

* 6. What is attenuation? What is the mechanism by which the attenuator forms when tryptophan levels are high and the antiterminator forms when tryptophan levels are low?

* 7. What is antisense RNA? How does it control gene expression?

8. What general features of transcriptional control are found in bacteriophage X?

* 9. What changes take place in chromatin structure and what role do these changes play in eukaryotic gene regulation?

10. Briefly explain how transcriptional activator proteins and repressors affect the level of transcription of eukaryotic genes.

11. What is an insulator?

12. What is a response element? How do response elements bring about the coordinated expression of eukaryotic genes?

13. Outline the role of alternative splicing in the control of sex differentiation in Drosophila.

*14. What role does RNA stability play in gene regulation? What controls RNA stability in eukaryotic cells?

15. Define RNA silencing. Explain how siRNAs arise and how they potentially affect gene expression.

*16. Compare and contrast bacterial and eukaryotic gene regulation. How are they similar? How are they different?

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