operon


op·er·on

noun \ˈä-pə-ˌrän\

Definition of OPERON

:  a group of closely linked genes that produces a single messenger RNA molecule in transcription and that consists of structural genes and regulating elements (as an operator and promoter)

Origin of OPERON

French opéron, from opérer to bring about, effect (from Latin operari) + -on 2-on
First Known Use: 1961

op·er·on

noun \ˈäp-ə-ˌrän\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of OPERON

: a group of closely linked genes that produces a single messenger RNA molecule in transcription and that consists of structural genes and regulating elements (as an operator and promoter)

operon

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Genetic regulatory system of single-celled organisms (prokaryotes) and their viruses, in which genes coding for functionally related proteins are clustered along the DNA, enabling their expression to be coordinated in response to the cell's needs. By providing a means to produce proteins only when and where they are required, the operon allows the cell to conserve energy. A typical operon consists of a group of structural genes that code for enzymes involved in a metabolic pathway, such as the biosynthesis of an amino acid. A single unit of messenger RNA is transcribed from the operon and is then translated into separate proteins. Operons are controlled by various regulatory elements that respond to environmental cues. The operon system was first proposed by Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod in the early 1960s.

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