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Exploring Genetic Mechanisms

Maxine Singer Carnegie Institution of Washington
Paul Berg Stanford University

This integrated collection of case studies examines in detail how genes operate in systems. It can be used separately or as a companion volume to Genes and Genomes. An outstanding group of scientists have collaborated to develop this all-new 2-color text. It is recommended for students and professionals in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics.

ISBN 978-0-935702-70-5
eISBN 978-1-938787-45-4
Publish date: 1997
674 pages, Casebound


This integrated collection of case studies examines in detail how genes operate in systems. It can be used separately or as a companion volume to Genes and Genomes. An outstanding group of scientists have collaborated to develop this all-new 2-color text. It is recommended for students and professionals in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics.

Table of Contents

1. Mammalian DNA Viruses: Papovaviruses as Models of Cellular Genetic Functions and Oncogenesis, Paul Berg & Maxine Singer

1.1 Introduction
1.2 General Features of Mammalian DNA Viruses
1.3 SV40: The Best Understood Papovavirus
1.4 Other Papovaviruses
1.5 Comparative Strategies for Cellular Activation by Papova- and Adenoviruses
1.6 Conclusion

2. Eukaryotic RNA Viruses: A Variant Genetic System, Ellen G. Strauss and James H. Strauss

2.1 Replication Strategies of Eukaryotic RNA Viruses
2.2 Plus-Strand RNA Virus Genomes
2.3 Minus-Strand RNA Virus Genomes
2.4 Double-Strand RNA Virus Genomes
2.5 Manipulation of Cloned Viral Genomes
2.6 “Infectious Clones” and the Genetic Revolution
2.7 RNA Viruses as Vectors
2.8 Conclusion

3. Retroviruses: Infectious Genetic Elements, Stephen P. Goff

3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Replication-Competent Retroviruses: Practically Perfect Parasites
3.3 Genetic Analysis of Retroviral Replication Functions
3.4 Replication-Defective Transforming Viruses
3.5 Human Retroviruses
3.6 Gene Transfer and Gene Therapy
3.7 Conclusion

4. Oncogenes, Growth Suppressor Genes,and Cancer, Tony H unter

4.1 Oncogenes
4.2 The Functions of Oncogene Products
4.3 DNA Tumor Virus Oncoproteins and the Cell Cycle
4.4 Growth Suppressor Proteins
4.5 Cooperation Between Genetic Events in Tumorigenesis
4.6 Tumorigenesis in Humans
4.7 Viruses and Human Cancer
4.8 Conclusions and Prospects

5. Mapping Markers and Genes in the Human Genome, Ray White

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Variations in DNA Sequence: The New Genetic Markers
5.3 Analysis of Genetic Linkage in Humans
5.4 Linkage Maps of Human Chromosomes
5.5 Mapping and Isolating Genes Responsible for Human Diseases
5.6 DNA Sequence Variations as Markers in Somatic Cells
5.7 Conclusion: Genetics and Human Variation

6. Molecular Genetics of the Hemoglobin Genes, Haig H. Kazazian, Jr., and Stylianos Antonarakis

6.1 The Globin Genes and Proteins
6.2 Expression of Globin Genes
6.3 Molecular Basis of Hemoglobinophathies
6.4 DNA Polymorphisms in the Globin Gene Cluster and Their Use in Analysis of Disease-Producing Mutations

7. Generation of Antigen Receptor Diversity, Jianzhu Chen and Frederick W. Alt

7.1 Overview of the Immune System
7.2 Cell and Animal Models to Study B Cell Differentiation
7.3 Organization and Expression of Ig Genes
7.4 Mechanism of Antigen Receptor Variable Region Gene Assembly
7.5 Control of V(D)J Recombination
7.6 Modification of the Primary B Cell Antibody Repertoire
7.7 Conclusion

8. Biosynthesis of Intercellular Messenger Peptides, Maxine Singer and Paul Berg

8.1 The Special Properties of Intercellular Messenger Peptides and Their Genes
8.2 The Biochemistry of Cotranslational and Posttranslational Modifications and Proteolytic Processing
8.3 The Secretory Pathway
8.4 The alpha-Pheromone of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
8.5 Insulin: One Gene, Two Polypeptides, One Protein
8.6 Multiple Active Peptides from Single Genes by Differential Posttranslational Processing
8.7 Multiple Active Peptides from a Single Gene by Alternative Splicing: Calcitonin and CGRP
8.8 Messenger Peptides and Fixed Behavioral Patterns in Aplysia

9. Regulation of Early Drosophila Development by Transcription Factors and Cell-Cell Signaling, Thomas B. Kornberg and Matthew P. Scott

9.1 The Development Program of Drosophila
9.2 Maternal Influences on Developmental Events
9.3 Anterior-Posterior Patterning
9.4 The Roles of Transcription Factors in Early Development
9.5 Moleuclar Methods in Drosophila Developmental Genetics
9.6 Perspectives

10. Manipulating Protein Structure, Cynthia N. Kiser and John H. Richards

10.1 General Considerations
10.2 Protein Folding and Stability
10.3 Protein Function

11. Genetic Modification of Animals, Tim Stewart

11.1 Genetically Modified Rodents as an Experimental Tood
11.2 Transcription
11.3 Growth and Development
11.4 Immunology
11.5 Oncogenesis
11.6 Mutations
11.7 Models of Human Diseases

12. Genetic Modification of Plants, Patricia Zambryski

12.1 Agrobacterium-Plant Cell Interaction: General Concepts
12.2 Activation and Expression of Virulence Genes
12.3 DNA Transfer
12.4 Crown Gall Tumor
12.5 Ti-Plasmid as a Vector for Gene Transfer to Platns
12.6 Arabidopsis thaliana, a Model Plant System
12.7 Evolutionary Considerations and Floral Development



“The textbook Exploring Genetic Mechanisms is an excellent account of the hallmarks of modern genetic analysis…[It] takes its readers through a detailed account of many fundamental principles of molecular genetics. It provides specific examples of well-characterized genetic mechanisms that operate within a gene family as well as examples of more complex genetic relations that operate within an entire organism. This book represents the next generation of modern genetics textbooks and will be invaluable for genetics researchers and students.”
-The New England Journal of Medicine

“In their earlier volumes, Singer & Berg have laid out the fundamentals of modern molecular biology. Here, with a group of the finest co-authors, they focus on the individual stories that make biology such a rich and varied science. The genes come alive as individual pieces of the biological tapestry. Viral genes, hemoglobin genes, genes for antibodies, genes of plants oncogenes and many more are probed along with the methodologies used to investigate them. A great volume from which to learn or teach about how actual life emerges from the four bases that make up DNA.”
-David Baltimore, President-Elect California Institute of Technology

“The currency of the coverage and the clarity of the diagrams are wonderful. It is a rare delight to have such complete coverage of the major topic areas written in such a student-learning conducive manner…it will become one of the classics.”
-John Stubbs, San Francisco State University

“Like its two two predecessors (Dealing with Genes, and Genes and Genomes), Exploring Genetic Mechanisms shows the result of thoughtful organization of content and careful editing. It succeeds in its purpose to familiarize the reader with the many different ways molecular genetics is being used to unravel and to understand the complex mechanisms involved in the development of a living organism from a collection of genes found in DNA…all chapters carry the superb writing style of Singer and Berg, who provide the unifying overviews and insights. The overall quality of Exploring Genetic Mechanisms (and of Genes and Genomes) is such that both can serve as models for any scientific work. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.”

Maxine Singer Carnegie Institution of Washington

Maxine Singer is the President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Scientist Emeritus at the NIH where she conducts research on transposable elements in the human genome. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1992.

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Paul Berg Stanford University

Paul Berg is Willson Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980, and received the National Medal of Science in 1983.

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