Are all genes regulatory genes?

Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):595-602 (2011)
Although much has been learned about hereditary mechanisms since Gregor Mendel’s famous experiments, gene concepts have always remained vague, notwithstanding their central role in biology. During over hundred years of genetic research, gene concepts have often and dynamically changed to accommodate novel experimental findings, without ever providing a generally accepted definition of the ‘gene.’ Yet, the distinction between ‘regulatory genes’ and ‘structural genes’ has remained a common theme in modern gene concepts since the definition of the operon-model. This distinction is now challenged by recent findings which suggest that, at least in eukaryotes, structural genes may in many situations have a regulatory function that is independent of the function of the gene product (protein or non-coding RNA molecule). This brief paper discusses these new findings and some possible implications for the notion of the ‘regulatory gene.’
Keywords Gene concepts  Regulatory genes  MicroRNAs  Pseudogenes  Transcript function
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9251-9
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References found in this work BETA
Evelyn Fox Keller (2001). The Century of the Gene. Journal of the History of Biology 34 (3):613-615.
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (2008). Gene. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2007). Gene. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.

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