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updated: May 21, 2024


A promoter, as related to genomics, is a region of DNA upstream of a gene where relevant proteins (such as RNA polymerase and transcription factors) bind to initiate transcription of that gene. The resulting transcription produces an RNA molecule (such as mRNA).



Promoter. Promoters can be very complex and work together with other DNA regions known as enhancers to ensure that you get good and robust transcription of that gene. It's been very interesting to study how DNA bends and puts the enhancer and the promoter in close proximity to initiate the transcription. This is an area that has really developed and helped to understand many different diseases, because sometimes when you look at human diseases, the mutations in the DNA are not in the coding region but are actually in the promoter region so that you have a different way in which you might try to correct that type of sequence error.

Julie Segre
Julie Segre, Ph.D.

Chief and NIH Distinguished Investigator

Translational and Functional Genomics Branch