Skip to Content

gene

Pronunciation: jen

Definition: A functional unit of heredity that occupies a specific place (locus) on a chromosome, is capable of reproducing itself exactly at each cell division, and directs the formation of an enzyme or other protein. The gene as a functional unit consists of a discrete segment of a giant DNA molecule containing the purine (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidine (cytosine and thymine) bases in the correct sequence to code the sequence of amino acids of a specific peptide. Protein synthesis is mediated by molecules of messenger RNA formed on the chromosome with the gene acting as a template. The RNA then passes into the cytoplasm and becomes oriented on the ribosomes where it in turn acts as a template to organize a chain of amino acids to form a peptide. In organisms reproducing sexually, genes normally occur in pairs in all cells except gametes, as a consequence of the fact that all chromosomes are paired except the sex chromosomes (X and Y) of the male.

Synonym(s): factor3

[G. genos, birth]

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide