Gene Expression vs Gene Regulation
Genes should be expressed, and it should take place in a highly orderly fashion so that nothing unimportant is done at the end in order for all the life processes to take place. Therefore, gene expression and gene regulation are very important processes. However, none of these processes takes place alone as gene expression takes place as the regulation does; both of those are in the same process. It would be convenient to study the gene expression and regulation separately so that the properties of each could be discussed before comparison.
When the information of a gene is being converted into structural forms, the particular gene is said to be expressed. Gene expression is a process that makes the biologically important molecules, and these are usually macromolecules. Genes are mostly expressed in the form of proteins, but RNA is also a product of this process. There could be no life form without the gene expression process being taking place.
Three major steps are there in gene expression known as the transcription, RNA processing, and translation. The post translations protein modification and non-coding RNA maturation are some of the other processes involved with gene expression. In the transcription step, nucleotide sequence of the gene in the DNA strand is transcribed into RNA after the DNA strand being dismantled with DNA helicase enzyme. The newly formed RNA strand (the mRNA) is reformed by removing the non-coding sequences and taking the nucleotide sequence of the gene to the ribosomes. There are specific tRNA (transfer RNA) molecules that recognize the relevant amino acids in the cytoplasm. After that, tRNA molecules are attached to the specific amino acids. In each tRNA molecule, there is a sequence of three nucleotides. A ribosome in the cytoplasm is attached to the mRNA strand, and the starting codon (the promoter) is identified. The tRNA molecules with the corresponding nucleotides for the mRNA sequence are moved into the large subunit of the ribosome. As the tRNA molecules come to the ribosome, the corresponding amino acid is bonded with the next amino acid in the sequence through a peptide bond. This peptide bonding continues until the last codon is read at the ribosome.
Gene regulation is simply the controlling of the gene expression. Gene regulation is essential to control the extremely complex DNA information. It would be surprising to know that nearly 97% of the human DNA sequence has non-coding sequences, or in other words, great majority of the human genome is not composed of genes. However, there should be nothing in the world without a function and a reason. All of these (at least the most of these) non-coding sequences are believed to be functioning in the gene regulation process. Introns are the main component in the non-coding sequences while the exons code for proteins.
The gene regulation has its main functions in controlling the exactness and speed of gene expression in general and few other functions in particular. Regulation of the gene expression takes place mainly during transcription, RNA splicing, RNA transporting, translation, and mRNA degradation. However, other processes such as inducing enzyme expressions, induction of heat shock proteins, and lac operon (transportation and metabolism of lactose) are other important aspects of the gene regulation. It would be important to state that it is the gene regulation that provides the basis for the versatility of the cells to be modified through cellular differentiation via inducing or inhibiting gene expressions.
What is the difference between Gene Expression and Gene Regulation?
• Gene expression is the main process whereas gene regulation is an essential controlling part.
• Gene expression is the process of synthesizing the biologically functioning macromolecules from genes while gene regulation makes sure nothing goes wrong in the expression process.
• Gene expression is subjected to all the related processes of the gene regulation such as timing, speed controlling, inhibition, and inducing.