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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.

What is Fos and Jun?
     Pam Schwartzberg, M.D., Ph.D.: We study mouse models of primary immunodeficiencies (genetic diseases that impair the ability of the immune system to fight infections) and how specific disorders affect responses to infectious diseases. Fos and Jun are two transcription factors, that is they bind certain DNA sequences called promoters that regulate gene expression (ie they "turn on" genes). Fos and Jun are among the first transcription factors that get activated when cells are stimulated to divide. Interestingly, both Fos and Jun were first discovered as oncogenes picked up by acutely transforming retroviruses. Many genes regulating important cellular processes were first discovered this way.
Therizino (6th grade student)

< View ALL questions and answers from 2008

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