Operon - Research Article from World of Genetics

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An operon is a single unit of physically adjacent genes that function together under the control of a single operator gene. The genes within an operon code for enzymes or proteins that are functionally related and are usually members of a single enzyme system. The operon is under the control of a single gene that is responsible for switching the entire operon "on" or "off." A repressor molecule that is capable of binding to the operator gene and switching it, and consequently the whole operon, off, controls the operator gene. A gene that is not part of the operon produces the repressor molecule. The repressor molecule is itself produced by a regulator gene. The repressor molecule is inactivated by a metabolite or signal substance (effector). In other words, the effector causes the operon to become active.

The lac operon in the bacterium E. Coli was one of the...

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This section contains 442 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Operon Encyclopedia Article
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