A functional unit consisting of a promoter, an operator and a number of structural genes
, found mainly in prokaryotes. The structural genes commonly code for several functionally related enzymes
, and although they are transcribed as one (polycistronic) mRNA
each is independently translated. In the typical operon, the operator region acts as a controlling element in switching on or off the synthesis of mRNA.
PAC, 1992, 64, 143
(Glossary for chemists of terms used in biotechnology (IUPAC Recommendations 1992))
on page 162
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook