Gene Expression Explanation for my Science Junkies :-)
Steps in Gene Expression
Here’s the process by which a gene produces a result in your body’s cells. Signals pass through the membrane of each cell and travel to the cell’s nucleus. There, they enter the chromosome and activate a particular strand of DNA.
Around each strand of DNA is a protein “sleeve.” This sleeve serves as a barrier between the information contained in the DNA strand and the rest of the intracellular environment. In order for the blueprint in the DNA to be “read,” the sleeve must be unwrapped. Unless it is unwrapped, the DNA strand cannot be “read,” or the information it contains acted upon. Until the information is unwrapped, the blueprint in the DNA lies dormant. That blueprint is required by the cell to construct other proteins that regulate virtually every aspect of life.
When a particular signal arrives, the protein sleeve around certain DNA sequences unwraps and, with the assistance of RNA, the DNA molecule then replicates an intermediate template molecule. The blueprint that has up to this point been concealed within the sleeve can now be acted upon. This is what scientists mean when they say that a gene expresses. The genetic information contained in the chromosome has gone from being a dormant blueprint into active expression, where it creates other actions within the cell by constructing, assembling, or altering biological products such as hormones or neurotransmitters. The DNA blueprint that has up to this point been inert, concealed within the sleeve, is now revealed, providing the basis for the construction of particular molecules. Just as an architect’s blueprint contains the information to build a building, the chromosomes contain the blueprints to construct aggregations of molecules. Until the architect’s blueprint has been removed from its sheath, unrolled, laid flat on the builder’s table, and used to guide construction, it is simply dormant potential. In the same way, the blueprints in our genes are dormant potential until the genes express and are used to guide the construction of the proteins that carry out the constructive tasks of life. Virtually all the important molecules in your body other than water are proteins. Proteins form the structure of your anatomy: like bone, hair, blood, as well as controlling the functioning of your physiology; digestion, reproduction, circulation, and alertness.