definition of Wikipedia
The lac repressor is a DNA-binding protein which inhibits the expression of genes coding for proteins involved in the metabolism of lactose in bacteria. These genes are repressed when lactose is not available to the cell, ensuring that the bacterium only invests energy in the production of machinery necessary for uptake and utilization of lactose when lactose is present. When lactose becomes available, it is converted into allolactose, which inhibits the lac repressor's DNA binding ability. Loss of DNA binding by the lac repressor is required for transcriptional activation of the operon.
The lac repressor (LacI) operates by binding to the major groove of the operator region of the lac operon. This blocks RNA polymerase from binding, and so prevents transcription of the mRNA coding for the Lac proteins. When lactose is present, allolactose binds to the lac repressor, causing an allosteric change in its shape. In its changed state, the lac repressor is unable to bind tightly to its cognate operator. This effect is referred to as induction, because it induces, rather than represses, expression of the metabolic genes. In vitro, Isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) is a commonly-used allolactose mimic which can be used to induce transcription of genes being regulated by lac repressor.
Structurally, the lac repressor protein is a homo-tetramer. The tetramer contains two DNA binding subunits composed of two monomers each (sometimes called "dimeric lac repressor"). These subunits dimerize to form a tetramer capable of binding two operator sequences. Each monomer  consists of four distinct regions:
DNA binding occurs via an N-terminal helix-turn-helix structural motif and is targeted to one of several operator DNA sequences (known as O1, O2 and O3). The O1 operator sequence slightly overlaps with the promoter, which is thought to therefore prohibit binding by RNA polymerase thereby inhibiting expression of the operon. Additionally, because each tetramer contains two DNA-binding subunits, binding of multiple operator sequences by a single tetramer induces DNA looping.
The lac repressor was first isolated by Walter Gilbert and Benno Müller-Hill in 1966. They were able to show, in vitro, that the protein bound to DNA containing the lac operon, and released the DNA when IPTG was added. (IPTG is an allolactose analog.) They were also able to isolate the portion of DNA bound by the protein by using the enzyme deoxyribonuclease, which breaks down DNA. After treatment of the repressor-DNA complex, some DNA remained, suggesting that it had been masked by the repressor. This was later confirmed.
Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.