A nuclear gene is a gene located in the cell nucleus of a eukaryote. The term is used to distinguish nuclear genes from the genes of the endosymbiotic organelle, that is genes in the mitochondrion, and in case of plants and algae, also the chloroplast, which host their own genetic system and can produce proteins from scratch.
The majority of the proteins of a cell are the product of messenger RNA transcribed from nuclear genes, including most of the proteins of the organelles, which are produced in the cytoplasm like all nuclear gene products and then transported to the organelle. Genes in the nucleus are arranged in a linear fashion upon chromosomes, which serve as the scaffold for replication and the regulation of gene expression. As such, they are usually under strict copy-number control, and replicate a single time per cell cycle.
- Griffiths AJF, Gelbart WM, Miller JH, et al. Modern Genetic Analysis. New York: W. H. Freeman; 1999. The Nature of Genomes. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21342/
- Griffiths AJF, Gelbart WM, Miller JH, et al. Modern Genetic Analysis. New York: W. H. Freeman; 1999. DNA Replication. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21251/
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