What is a gene?

Sat Feb 12 13:18:21 EST 1994

In <CL2F6J.3DF at pnfi.forestry.ca> lmarshal at pnfi.forestry.ca writes:

> In <2jeiua$913 at news.mic.ucla.edu> Ron Kagan <rkagan at ewald.mbi.ucla.edu> writes:
> >How about: 
> >	  A gene is a segment of DNA/RNA that, when
> >transcribed/reverse-transcribed, 
> >		leads to a biologically functional product.
> What about a genic location holding an allelic sequence that
> produces a protein that is non-functional.  Not a gene anymore?
I think that any stretch of DNA/RNA which leads to a RNA/protein product should
be referred to as a gene, functional or not (except perhaps for the occasional
pseudogene which is transcribed).  I also think that the definition of the
physical boundaries of a gene in the statement above should be expanded to
include all proximal and distal regulatory regions (promotors, enhancers, etc)
involved in the transcription of that gene.  This would not include soluble
regulatory molecules - just the appropriate regions of DNA.

Rick Willis 
University of Rochester Cancer Center

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