A cis-regulatory element or cis-element is a region of DNA or RNA which regulates the expression of genes located on that same strand. This term is constructed from the Latin root -cis, which means "on the same side as". These cis-regulatory elements are often binding sites of one or more trans-acting factors. A cis-element may be located in the promoter region 5' to the gene it controls, in the intron, or in the 3' region.
In contrast, trans-regulatory elements are species which may modify the expression of genes distant from the gene that was originally transcribed to create them. To demonstrate the concept (this is not a specific example), a transcription factor which regulates a gene on chromosome 6 might itself have been transcribed from a gene on chromosome 11. This term is constructed from the Latin root -trans, which means "across from".
To summarize, -cis elements are present on the same strand as the gene they regulate whereas -trans elements can regulate genes distant from the gene they were transcribed from.
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- Regulation of gene expression
- Cis-acting element
- Gene regulatory network
- Trans-acting factor
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