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Glossary of AU Biology 110 Chapter 17

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operon
A region of bacterial DNA and regulatory sequences that codes for a series of functionally related genes.
transcription
The process by which messenger RNA (mRNA) is made from a DNA template.
lac operon
The operon in E. coli that includes genes responsible for the metabolism of lactose.
galactoside permease
A membrane transport protein responsible for importing lactose into bacterial cells; coded for by the gene lacY.
repressor
A regulatory protein that inhibits the transcription of certain genes.
operator
A section of DNA in the lac operon that is the binding site for the repressor.
RNA polymerase
An enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of RNA from ribonucleotides, using a DNA template.
promoter
A short sequence of DNA that facilitates the binding of RNA polymerase to enable the transcription of downstream genes.
negative control
A type of gene regulation in which a repressor protein binds to a control sequence in the DNA and prevents transcription.
inducer
A molecule that triggers transcription of a specific gene.
allosteric regulation
Regulation of gene activity by a change in shape of a large regulatory protein, usually induced by a small molecule.
master plate
A plate that contains a complete medium, which allows any mutant cells under investigation to grow.
replica plating
A technique in which bacteria from a master plate are stamped onto a replica plate containing a specific medium, thereby enabling investigators to find mutant cells that do not grow in the medium under study.
replica plate
A plate that contains only a specific medium under study, on which mutant cells cannot grow.
catabolite repression
A type of inhibition of gene transcription in which a gene codes for an enzyme in a catabolic pathway and the end product of that pathway inhibits further transcription of that gene.
adenylyl cyclase
An enzyme that produces cyclic AMP (cAMP) from ATP.
cyclic AMP (cAMP)
A regulatory molecule that binds to a catabolite activator protein (CAP), thereby enabling the CAP to bind to a site near the promoter of an operon (the CAP site).
catabolite activator protein (CAP)
A protein that binds near the promoter of an operon, facilitating the binding of RNA polymerase to the promoter and thereby stimulating transcription.
positive control
A type of gene regulation in which an activator protein binds to a control sequence in the DNA and promotes transcription.

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