transcription factor

noun

Definition of transcription factor

: any of various proteins that bind to DNA and play a role in the regulation of gene expression by promoting transcription

Examples of transcription factor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Frazer wanted to know how a heart-specific transcription factor called NKX2-5 influenced those traits. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "‘Invaluable’ database helps solve mystery of how genes are regulated," 10 Sep. 2020 Semenza discovered a protein complex called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), which is composed of two transcription factors—proteins that control the transcription of DNA into RNA—called HIF-1α and ARNT. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Discovery of Molecular Switch for How Cells Use Oxygen Wins 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine," 7 Oct. 2019 In 1952, well before developmental biologists spoke in terms of Hox genes and transcription factors, or even understood DNA’s structure, Alan Turing had an idea. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient Turing Pattern Builds Feathers, Hair — and Now, Shark Skin," 2 Jan. 2019 Scientists achieve this transformation by bathing the stem cells in a solution containing the right cocktail of transcription factors, molecules that guide fetal development by regulating how genes are turned on or off. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Lab-Grown “Mini Brains” Can Now Mimic the Neural Activity of a Preterm Infant," 29 Aug. 2019 In 1988, Ueli Schibler, now a professor of molecular biology at the University of Geneva, was studying transcription factors, cellular actors that control the transcription of genes into proteins. Quanta Magazine, "How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time," 15 Sep. 2015 When Wuarin performed the isolation, the transcription factor had failed to appear. Quanta Magazine, "How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time," 15 Sep. 2015 By injecting certain proteins (called transcription factors) involved in development directly into the brain, Götz and her team in Munich have figured out how to alter the function of astrocytes after an injury. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 That doesn’t mean that fifteen years from now doctors will be able to prescribe a course of transcription factors to cure PSP. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'transcription factor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of transcription factor

1972, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of transcription factor was in 1972

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transcription factor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transcription%20factor. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for transcription factor

transcription factor

noun

Medical Definition of transcription factor

: any of various proteins that bind to DNA and play a role in the regulation of gene expression by promoting transcription

More from Merriam-Webster on transcription factor

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about transcription factor

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