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Do genes that occupy a similar locus on the genome have correlated function, specifically in human beings? It is my understanding that adjacent genes are inherited together, and so location plays a role there. However it terms of function, I don't know to what extent location plays a role. Furthermore, if say two adjacent genes have the same expression, does this necessarily mean that their function is correlated, or is that interpretation stretch?

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Trivial and maybe a bit tongue-in-cheek comment: that cannot be true, otherwise any gene in the genome would be correlated to its neighbour, hence all of the genes would be correlated to each other :) –  nico Jun 22 '12 at 6:45
@nico But it is true to some extent, at least when looking at co-regulation. –  Konrad Rudolph Jun 22 '12 at 9:44
That only says they can't be perfectly corollated. Otherwise corollation would drop off exponentially with distance. –  Noah Snyder Jun 22 '12 at 16:11
@Konrad Rudolph: I know, I was just joking. Anyway distance on genomic map does not mean distance in space... –  nico Jun 22 '12 at 17:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In bacteria, this is often true. This is because more than one gene is often transcribed onto a single RNA. This grouping of genes is called an operon. It is usually true that these have a related function because they are being translated to protein in very much the same proportion - a convenient way to regulate the function as a whole.

Once you get into eukaryotes this is no longer true (except for v. rare cases most of which are viral genes), one mRNA transcript contains just one translation region. This is true even for yeast and other single celled organisms. Gene regulation can be correlated, but the relationship on the genome has little to do with it.

There is some importance to the genomic relationship of two genes because of the crossing over that occurs in meiosis, but this is more of a relationship that is important in speciation and evolution, it doesn't have any recognized importance to how the genes act within the eukaryotic cell.

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