Goldilocks Principle

by Georgina Cornwall, PhD

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    So, I call this lecture the Goldilocks principle because it all has to do with Goldilocks, the story where we’ve got three bowls of porridge and one just has to be just right. Gene expression is just the same. We have too much gene expression, overexpression or we have not enough gene expression. That’s the root of pretty much all genetic disorders. So, why not call it the Goldilocks principle? The key here then is having the right amount of gene products but how is it that we regulate the amount of gene product? So, this is a question that you should be able to answer from having seen our previous lectures. But there are a few more things that we’ll consider. So, let’s take a look at what we’ve seen already, things we already know. We know that epigenetic factors certainly have an impact on whether a gene can be expressed or not. Is the gene hidden by its epigenetic coding or are we able to actually transcribe and translate the genes? Now, epigenetic factors are sometimes heritable, we’re learning but sometimes, they may be applied and removed as we’ll see in some examples in this lecture. You also can probably predict that one of the things that we’ll recognize as affecting the amount of gene expression or the amount of gene product is the regulation of transcription. Recall that there are tons of different proteins involved in moderating that process as well as RNA processing and translation. Of course, those are also coded for by genes that produce proteins. So, you could have problems with the regulatory proteins which actually affect the expression of the gene itself. So, we have the multifactorial concept there again. But all of these places are means where we could regulate the amount...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Goldilocks Principle by Georgina Cornwall, PhD is from the course Introduction to Medical Genetics. It contains the following chapters:

    • The Goldilocks Principle
    • Unbalanced Expression

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Replication
    2. Histone acetylation
    3. Gene methylation
    4. Transcription factors

    Author of lecture Goldilocks Principle

     Georgina Cornwall, PhD

    Georgina Cornwall, PhD

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