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Enhancer element

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Enhancer element

(Science: molecular biology) a dna sequence, present in the genomes of higher eukaryotes and of various animal viruses, which can increase the transcription of genes into messenger rna.

These control element frequently found 5' to the start site of a gene, when bound by a specific transcription factor, enhance the levels of expression of the gene, but are not sufficient alone to cause expression.

Distinguished from a promoter, that is alone sufficient to cause expression of the gene when bound, in practice, the two terms merge.

enhancers usually can function in either orientation and at various distances from a promoter.

Compare: promoter.