transcription factor

noun

: 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 As with other species, the scientists reprogrammed the elephant cells by exposing them to a series of different chemicals and then adding proteins called transcription factors that turn on particular genes to change how the cells functions. Matt Reynolds, WIRED, 6 Mar. 2024 Enhancers bind many transcription factors to produce that crowding. Philip Ball, Quanta Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 For example, alcohol can cause an alternative form of a gene to be expressed in the memory circuits in flies and people, resulting in changes in dopamine receptors and transcription factors involved in reward signaling and neuronal function. Karla Kaun, Discover Magazine, 26 Jan. 2024 Surprising flexibility in a conserved Hox transcription factor over 550 million years of evolution. Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2019 These messenger molecules go on to act as the blueprints for protein production, so preventing a transcription factor from working can cause all sorts of problems. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 31 Oct. 2011 Using the gene-editing technology CRISPR in Toxoplasma, the researchers began systematically disabling the genes for proteins known as AP2 transcription factors, which influence gene activity during the parasite’s development. Bycatherine Offord, science.org, 31 Mar. 2023 The Church lab’s key discovery was identifying a pair of proteins — known as transcription factors — that reprogram pluripotent stem cells into ovary building blocks in just five days. Ryan Cross, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Mar. 2023 For example, one of the transcription factors, which regulate overall gene expression, that was most significantly upregulated is CUX2. Angus Chen, STAT, 8 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'transcription factor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of transcription factor was in 1969

Dictionary Entries Near transcription factor

Cite this Entry

“Transcription factor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transcription%20factor. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

transcription factor

noun
: 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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!