Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2012
Citation: Lee, S., Costanzo, S., Jia, Y. 2012. The structure and regulation of genes and consequences of their genetic mutations. In: Shu, Q.-Y., Forster, B.P., Nakagawa, H. editor. Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology. CAB International:Cambridge. p. 33-47. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The fundamental genetic unit of heredity, the gene, is a nucleic acid sequence characterized by three main parts: a promoter region where gene expression levels are controlled by transcription factors and other accessory proteins, the coding region (often interrupted by intervening sequences or introns), and a 3’ untranslated region. Following transcription, the completed transcript, often referred to as ‘messenger RNA’ (mRNA), is then used as a template for the production of proteins. The order of amino acids encoded by mRNAs translates into specific proteins, which may be further processed by cells to their mature forms. Proteins are involved in diverse biological functions. The entire process of transcription and translation is precisely regulated in order to maintain normal cellular functionality. Perturbations to this highly sophisticated regulatory network can have drastic consequences, and result in phenotypic changes adversely affecting an organism’s survival.