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Science 319 (5871): 1785-1786

Copyright © 2008 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Gene Regulation by Transcription Factors and MicroRNAs

Oliver Hobert

Abstract: The properties of a cell are determined by the genetic information encoded in its genome. Understanding how such information is differentially and dynamically retrieved to define distinct cell types and cellular states is a major challenge facing molecular biology. Gene regulatory factors that control the expression of genomic information come in a variety of flavors, with transcription factors and microRNAs representing the most numerous gene regulatory factors in multicellular genomes. Here, I review common principles of transcription factor– and microRNA-mediated gene regulatory events and discuss conceptual differences in how these factors control gene expression.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail: or38{at}

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