What is the trigger for DNA to produce proteins or RNA?

I have found enough material to study the inner workings of the cell and DNA; but, I can't find an explanation of the mechanics the cell uses to react to its inner state or external events and in turn initiate transcription.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I don't understand the question, but the Wikipedia entry for Gene Regulation is a good place to start: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_regulation $\endgroup$ – Alan Boyd Aug 3 '13 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Alan Boyd: I think the question is asking what environmental signals act to recruit TF to start transcription. For instance activation of membrane receptors and so on. $\endgroup$ – nico Aug 3 '13 at 16:18

This question is not easily answered as there are a multitude of factors involved in the production of proteins. DNA - the molecule - does not "determine" when proteins will be produced. The environment (truly environmental, extracellular, intracellular, etc.) of the organism governs this. If you have not found enough material to satisfy your inquiries I recommend Jim Watson et. al. Molecular Biology of the Gene. A classic.


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