Regulation of the Lactase Gene
This interactive module explores how the process of eukaryotic gene expression is regulated, using the production of the enzyme lactase as an example.
Eukaryotic gene expression can be regulated by several processes, including transcriptional regulation, RNA processing, translational regulation, and protein processing and degradation. In this Click & Learn, students review these different process and then explore the regulation of the LCT gene, which encodes lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that digests lactose, a sugar in milk. Genetic variations that cause the production of lactase to continue into adulthood result in lactase persistence, a recent evolutionary adaptation in humans.
The accompanying worksheet guides students’ exploration.
Student Learning Targets
Explain the molecular mechanism of lactase persistence in humans.
activator, alternative splicing, enhancer, proteasome, repressor, RNA interference (RNAi), RNA polymerase, transcription factor, ubiquitin
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS4-4; SEP6, SEP7
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.D, EVO-1.H, EVO-1.J, EVO-1.K, EVO-1.O, IST-2.A, IST-2.B, IST-2.C, IST-2.D; SP1
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 3.8, 5.3
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, EIN-1.C, EIN-2.C, SP5
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC2; DP1