What reads the information stored in our genes? How is it read? DNA transcription is the first step. Transcription is an amazingly beautiful process that take place in every (every!) living cell.
In this animation produced by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – HHMI you can see how a multi-part enzyme called RNA Polymerase II reads and re-writes the information stored in DNA into RNA. This is the first step of the Central Dogma of biology.
RNA polymerase is a well-behaved molecule. It never reads a message unless it is invited to do so. Invitation comes from a set of proteins called transcription factors. Transcription factors assemble along the control regions of genes. These regions are called promoter regions. When the assembly is complete RNA Polymerase joins them and together form the transcription initiation complex.
This short animation provides a nice overview of the beginning of transcription. However if you would like to learn how transcription proceeds (elongation phase) and how mistakes along the process get corrected (proof reading) check out the detailed animation created by Patrick Cramer lab.