Transcriptional repressors are proteins that bind to specific sites on DNA and prevent transcription of nearby genes. (RNA can also inhibit transcription, but inhibitory RNAs are not usually called repressors.)
Most repressors inhibit the initiation of transcription. The following cartoons give a simple overview of the inititation of transcription, and show three ways that repressors can inhibit transcription.
SOME USEFUL GENERAL REVIEWS ON REPRESSORS:
The following reference describes the structures of other transcriptional regulators with different DNA-binding motifs than the Lac repressor.
The following reference is a delightful short and very readible book that focuses upon how lambda repressor works.
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Last modified July 29, 2004