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Section bank BB #65

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This passage overwhelmed me, but reading it again, I realize that it is just describing a pretty straightforward cascade. Unfortunately, under timed conditions and when I'm not feeling the best/over anxious, I tend to flip out and rush/mess things up.
However, in regards to this question, what are "nuclear factors"? Does that mean transcription factors? I don't really know a lot about this topic; I guess this question required that you know what transcriptional machinery was not constant from cell to cell.

So does this mean that every cell in the body contains any type of gene, promoter, or enhancer? Why would a gene related to growth of your toenail be located in your eye (not kidding)?

This might sound like a stupid question, but I'm being honest.

Are all genes in the body located in every cell? They just remain inactive in some cells?

So if we took the transcription factors for the growth of your fingers and transferred them into cardiac cells, your heart would be capable of growing fingers?
 

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aldol16

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So does this mean that every cell in the body contains any type of gene, promoter, or enhancer? Why would a gene related to growth of your toenail be located in your eye (not kidding)?

Are all genes in the body located in every cell? They just remain inactive in some cells?

Yes, every cell in your body contains the exact same set of DNA except the germ cells, which contain half the genetic material. The reason an eye grows into an eye is because different genes are activated in eye cells as compared to skin cells. This is the field of epigenetics - the epigenome is likely much more important than the genome because all somatic cells contain the same DNA.

So if we took the transcription factors for the growth of your fingers and transferred them into cardiac cells, your heart would be capable of growing fingers?

A more seasoned biologist could probably answer this better than I, but I believe it's a bit more complicated than that. Many genes must be turned on and off to make a finger and so you have to take into account all the interactions between genes - as well as shutting off the ones in the native cardiac cells that make it a cardiac cell. I think this also touches a bit on stem cells - at some point in development, your cells are fully differentiated and it's really hard to make them pluripotent again.
 
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