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The concept of activation in transcriptional regulation is based on the assumption that product mRNA increases monotonically as a function of regulator concentration. We analyze the Shea-Ackers model of transcription and find this assumption to be correct only for the simplest of promoters. We define a new regulatory constant that is a nonlinear combination of association and transcription initiation constants characterizing activation and repression for more complicated promoters. Our resultsdoi:10.7282/t3d50m1f fatcat:btntxczhozab3f5fwraakmibye