Gene Regulation

Super-induction of BDNF expression by anti-epileptic drugs in rat brain

The expression of genes is a tightly regulated process, making sure that genes become active in the right tissues, at the right moment and in response to the right stimuli. Knowing, therefore, how gene expression is regulated is a critical piece of intelligence that can provide powerful insight for functional annotation as well as clinical utility. Indeed, a dys-regulation of these processes is often the root cause of disease.

The primary example of gene regulation occurs during development, where the concerted and timed expression of genes is essential to direct the highly complex processes underlying the formation of cells, organs and living organisms. Information about when and where a gene is expressed during development provides strong evidence to assign a function and/or uncover if the gene may be useful as therapeutic target or biomarker.

Expression of genes can also be influenced by drugs and pharmaceuticals. Such genes can be effective biomarkers of drug efficacy, toxicity or carcinogenicity.