Inducible gene expression: diverse regulatory mechanisms

Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Jun;11(6):426-37. doi: 10.1038/nrg2781. Epub 2010 Apr 27.


The rapid activation of gene expression in response to stimuli occurs largely through the regulation of RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription. In this Review, we discuss events that occur during the transcription cycle in eukaryotes that are important for the rapid and specific activation of gene expression in response to external stimuli. In addition to regulated recruitment of the transcription machinery to the promoter, it has now been shown that control steps can include chromatin remodelling and the release of paused polymerase. Recent work suggests that some components of signal transduction cascades also play an integral part in activating transcription at target genes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology
  • Transcriptional Activation / physiology*


  • Transcription Factors
  • Phosphotransferases