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Sci. STKE, 3 June 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 185, p. pe22
Suboperonic Regulatory Signals
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4255, USA.
In prokaryotes, the genome is necessarily small in size, thus creating challenges for gene regulation. Adhya discusses how polycistronic operons can be regulated at the suboperonic level to allow genes to be independently regulated within an operon. This permits the cells to respond to different environmental conditions and allows the genes within operons to encode proteins involved in divergent cellular processes and still be regulated according to the cell's needs. Suboperonic control leads to discoordinate gene expression and can occur through transcriptional regulatory events or translational regulatory events mediated by proteins or cis- or trans-acting RNAs.