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Overview

In this activity you will be explore materials on gene expression in cells. This is important because it helps you see how DNA (genes) and RNAs function to make a protein.

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This assignment should take you approximately 1.5 hours. This includes the time to explore the material and complete the assignment.

Instructions

  1. Watch the video. Then,  download and review this PowerPoint.
  2. After completing this simulation, write a paragraph of at least 150 words describing how DNA, mRNA, tRNA, and ribosomes work together to form a functioning protein.
  3. Submit your work to the Module 3 Assignment: Gene Expression

See the Course Schedule and Course Rubrics sections in the Syllabus module for due dates and grading information.

Here’s a link to the video incase the attachment does not open https://media.ccconline.org/ccco/2017Master/BIO105/m3/Protein%20Sythesis.hb.mp4

 

HandBrake 0.10.5 2016021100

By Sarina Lalla

B.Ed. Secondary Science Education

McGill University

The Basics of Gene Expression

Reminder: The Central Dogma of Genetics

DNA

RNA

Protein

Transcription

Translation

Structure of a gene

Regulatory region

Responsible for controlling when the transcribed region is

used to make mRNA

Acted upon by positive transcription factors (activator) and

negative transcription factors (repressor)

Transcribed region

Located after the regulatory region in the DNA strand

Region used to make mRNA (the information that the mRNA

strand will contain is found in the transcribed region!)

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

Transcription elements:

RNA Polymerase

An enzyme (protein) that ”reads” the transcribed region of DNA to produce mRNA

Zips down the strand by first passing through the regulatory region

This is why the regulatory region controls when mRNA is produced!

In PhET simulation:

Cell gene expression

tab

Regulatory region with activators = RNA polymerase can pass through to the

transcribed region and make mRNA

Regulatory region with repressor = RNA polymerase cannot pass through,

cannot “read” the transcribed region and cannot make mRNA

In PhET simulation

In PhET simulation

Factors influencing transcription

(mRNA production):

Affinity of RNA Polymerase to DNA

The better RNA polymerase can attach itself to the DNA

strand (high affinity), the easier it can “read” it to produce mRNA

If RNA polymerase has low affinity to the DNA strand,

it will be difficult for it to attach and produce mRNA

In PhET simulation: Messenger RNA production tab

 

vs

Transcription elements:

Positive Transcription Factor

Also known as an activator

“Parks” itself on the regulatory region

Encourages the binding of RNA polymerase to the regulatory region

Allows RNA polymerase to produce mRNA

More than one can bind to the regulatory region

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

Transcription elements:

Negative Transcription Factor

Also known as a repressor

“Parks” itself on the regulatory region

Prevents the binding of RNA polymerase to the regulatory region

Prevents RNA polymerase from producing mRNA

More than one can bind to the regulatory region

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

In PhET simulation:

Cell gene expression tab

Factors influencing transcription

(mRNA production):

Concentration of positive transcription factor

In PhET simulation: Messenger RNA production tab

vs

The higher the concentration of positive transcription factor, the more it is available to bind to the regulatory region

The more it is available to bind to the regulatory region, the faster RNA polymerase can bind to DNA

The faster RNA polymerase can bind to DNA, the faster mRNA can be made

Factors influencing transcription

(mRNA production):

Affinity of positive transcription factor

To DNA

The easier the positive transcription factor can bind to DNA, the easier it can bind

to the regulatory region

– The easier it can bind to the regulatory region, the easier RNA polymerase can bind to DNA

The easier RNA polymerase can bind to DNA, the easier mRNA can be made

In PhET simulation: Messenger RNA production tab

vs

Translation elements:

Ribosome

An RNA structure that ”reads” mRNA strands to produce proteins

Clamps the RNA strand between its two subunits

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

Protein

mRNA

Ribosome

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

Subunits

Translation elements:

mRNA destroyer

An RNA structure that ”reads” mRNA strands to produce proteins

Clamps the RNA strand between its two sub units

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

In PhET simulation: Cell gene expression tab

mRNA

mRNA destroyer

Degraded mRNA

More to explore in the PhET Simulation Protein expression in cells

Go in the Multiple Cells tab. Using the sliders, determine how all of the discussed variables influence

protein production over time in the cell or cells.

What is the name of the cells that are being used in this simulation?

Why do you think the cells are green?

In PhET simulation: Multiple Cells tab

Image sources

B0006092 DNA double helix illustration © Spooky Pooka, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (Image was cropped with permission from provider)

Beaker © OpenClipart-Vectors, used under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal

DNA © Clker-Free- Vector -Images, used under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal

DNA vs RNA © Zappys Technology Solutions, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

McGill CoA © Waov12, used under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal

All screenshots are from the PhET Interactive Simulation Gene Expression-The Basics

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