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Luxury gene

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noun, plural: luxury genes

A gene that codes for specialized cell products and is expressed abundantly.


Luxury genes are tissue-specific or organ-specific, which means they are not expressed in all cells. They are not constantly expressed, only when their function is needed. Examples of luxury genes are plasmids of bacteria and genes coding for heat-shock proteins.

Compare: housekeeping gene.
See also: genetic expression, transcription.