Gene Regulation


This course will provide a solid grounding in the molecular aspects of the expression and regulation of genetic information in living cells.  It is expected that on completion of the module students are able to: (i) explain the mechanisms responsible for the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; (ii) explain the relationship between the organisation of genes and regulation of their expression; (iii) identify methodologies of gene expression manipulation and applications; (iv) and, carry out and interpret experiments illustrating aspects of the concepts described above..

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria Godinho de Sá Nogueira


Weekly - 4

Total - 51

Teaching language



Available soon


Livros / Books

Lewins’s Genes XI (2014) Parte 1 (revisão de conhecimentos) Parte 3 e Parte 4; Lewins’s Genes XII (2018)

Watson Molecular Biology of the Gene (2014) 7th Edition.

Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th Edition, Larry Snyder et al. 2013 ASM Press.

0 mundo do RNA: novos desafios e perspectivas futuras. 2007 (CM Arraiano and A. Fialho, eds), Edições Técnicas Lidel. Capítulos 1, 2 e 3.

Genes and Signals (2001) Ptashne, M. Gann, A. (Eds) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Diversos artigos de revisão / Reviews


Teaching method

Lectures will be based on textbook material and selected papers from the current literature. In addition the students will perform experiments illustrating aspects of the gene regulation, such as the analysis of gene fusions and promoter activity as well as analysis of Real Time PCR experiments.

Evaluation method

The theoretical course is evaluated by two written tests during the semester (60% of the final grade).

The practical component represents 40% of the final grade and is calculated as follows: 15% grade of each tests concerning the laboratory practical sessions and 10% individual performance in the laboratory.

The presence in all pratical sessions is compulsory.

Subject matter

Many genes in an organism’s genome are continuously expressed.  Other genes are expressed only in response to a particular environmental signal, during a particular stage of development, in a specific stage of the cell cycle or in certain cells. This course dwells on the various aspects important for regulation of the later category of genes . Emphasis will be placed upon control of gene expression by transcriptional regulation.  Mechanisms of gene regulation by RNA processing, stability or translation will be briefly considered.

Topics include: DNA sequence and chromatin structure; RNA polymerases, structure, assembly and function; promoter recognition and initiation of transcription; elongation and termination of transcripts; structure of promoters and roles of sigma factors and transcription factors; basic mechanisms of gene activation, repression and attenuation; global regulatory mechanisms; catabolite repression; quorum-sensing; signal integration and combinatory control; the role of chromatin in gene regulation; silencing in subtelomeric regions; DNA methylation; insulators and imprinting; genetic and biochemical methods for studying gene regulation; regulatory RNAs; RNAi: mechanisms and applications.