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Constitutive gene

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noun, plural: constitutive genes

A gene that is transcribed at a relatively constant level regardless of the cell environmental conditions.


Unlike facultative genes that are transcribed only when needed, constitutive genes are expressed continuously. It is because constitutive genes such as housekeeping genes code for products with housekeeping functions in cells, e.g. maintaining the basic cell processes or structure.

See also: constitutive enzyme, gene expression.