A cis-regulatory element
or cis-element is a region of DNA
that regulates the expression of genes
located on that same strand. This term is constructed from the Latin
, 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 an intron
, or in the 3' untranslated 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 from which they were transcribed.
- Wray, G. A. 2007. The evolutionary significance of cis-regulatory mutations. Nature Reviews Genetics 8, 206-216
- Gompel et al. 2005. Chance caught on the wing: cis regulation evolution and the origin of pigmentation patterns in Drosophila. Nature 433: 481-487.
- Prud'homme et al. 2006. Repeated morphological evolution through cis regulatory changes in a pleiotropic gene. Nature 440: 1050-1053.
- Stern, D.L. 2000. Perspective: Evolutionary developmental biology and the problem of variation. Evolution 54: 1079-1091.
- Carroll, S.B., Grenier, J.K. and Weatherbee, S.D. 2005. "From DNA to diversity: Molecular genetics and the evolution of animal design" Blackwell publishing