How does gene regulation differ in prokaryotes and eukaryotes?
Gene regulation differs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in a few ways.
Prokaryotics don't have a nucleus but eukaryotics do (see image below).
- So transcription and its regulation in prokaryotics is much simpler. But the eukaryotes have to transcribe and then have a process for mRNA processing like capping, splicing and adding ply adenine tail, and then have a special mechanism to transport the processed mature mRNA to the cytoplasm from the nucleus.
Because prokayotes don't have a nuclear membrane, transcription and translation can occur at opposite ends of the mRNA molecule at the same time. This is not true for eukaryotes.
Transcription is responsible for most gene regulation in prokaryotes but in eukaryoes gene regulation is more complicated and genes are regulated before and after transcription (see image below).
And another difference is that eukaryotes don't express their genes all at once; they express one at a time. Prokaryotes do.
Prokaryotes don't contain introns. So splicing of introns and joining of exons are not needed. But in eukaryotics, splicing of introns and joining of exons is needed.