Structural genes are the genes that code for proteins and RNAs except regulatory factors. The products include structural proteins and enzymes. Structural genes also encode for non-coding RNAs such as the tRNAs and rRNAs.
In prokaryotes, the structural genes of related functionality are usually present adjacent to each other and regulated by a single promoter and operator. However, in eukaryotes they are mostly found in the coding regions.
Clinically, the structural genes can be studied to find out any genetic variations or mutations in the sequences.
Regulator genes code for repressor proteins in prokaryotes. These regulatory proteins control the level of expression of the structural genes.
The regulatory sequences are present several kilo bases far from the initiation site of transcription. They are used clinically to activate or repress the expression of a particular gene.
Structural vs. Regulatory Genes
|Structural genes are the genes that code for proteins and most RNAs except regulatory factors||Regulatory genes are those genes that code for proteins or factors that control the expression of structural genes.|
|In prokaryotes, the structural genes of related functionality are usually present adjacent to each other and regulated by a single promoter and operator. However, in eukaryotes they are mostly found in the coding regions.||Regulatory genes are usually found a bit far from the structural genes, say, 500 base pairs apart, and are mostly found in the intron regions.|
|mRNA, rRNA, and tRNA||miRNA and siRNA|
|It encodes the proteins required for structural and functional uses.||It encodes factors / proteins that control the expression of structural genes.|
|Structural genes of the lac operon such as lac A, lac Y and lac Z.||Regulatory genes are lac I and CAP.|
Visit BYJU’S Biology to learn more.
- An overview of Gene Expression and Regulation
- What Are the Three Main Levels of Gene Regulation?
- What Is an Outcome of Gene Regulation?
- What Is the Difference Between Positive and Negative Gene Regulation?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are regulator genes and why are they important?
Regulator genes are important as they help in controlling the expression of structural genes. Some proteins are not required all the time, so the genes synthesising them need to be turned off, this is done by the regulator genes.
What is the difference between gene expression and gene regulation?
Gene expression is the phenomenon of synthesis of a protein by the process of transcription and translation. On the other hand, gene regulation is the process of controlling the expression of that protein by an activator or repressor molecule.