I am looking for a term that describes DNA regions that overlap genes, i.e., non-intergenic DNA regions.
For example, say I am writing a paper about DNA-binding sites (i.e., DNA sequences that proteins bind to), but my paper focuses exclusively on DNA-binding sites that happen to overlap genes. What would my title be? "Non-intergenic DNA-binding sites are [...]" is one option, but I wonder whether a more appropriate term exists.

If I understand correctly, "Gene-overlapping" seems to be used for referring to genes that overlap other genes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overlapping_gene).
Also, Google says that "genic" means "relating to genes".

Is any of my ideas appropriate? Or maybe another term?

To clarify what I mean by intergenic and non-intergenic, here is the figure from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergenic_region. I added an example for a non-intergenic DNA region.
enter image description here
Explicitly, an intergenic DNA region is a DNA region that doesn't share any base with any gene. A non-intergenic DNA region is a DNA region that shares at least one base with a gene.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "regions that overlap genes" and how is that different from genes themselves? $\endgroup$
    – BagiM
    Jan 2, 2021 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ inter means between, intra means within, think inter-state highway. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jan 2, 2021 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @BagiM and John, I tried to clarify. Please point out if it still isn't clear. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2021 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Your "non-intergenic DNA region" overlaps the purple gene and possibly some of the red, too, so I don't understand what's non-intergenic about it. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Jan 2, 2021 at 20:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't use non-intergenic to refer to sequences that contain at least one base of a gene, because, at least according to your graphic, a large portion of it still could be intergenic material. Maybe just call them gene-overlapping regions? I'm really not sure. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Jan 2, 2021 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


It seems to me that "genic" is a perfectly good word.

This paper uses "genic" directly as a contrast to "intergenic", so that seems like a reasonable precedent:

‘Noncoding DNA’ can be found both surrounding genes, and within genes (see schematic Figure 1). We will call the first type ‘intergenic’, and the second type ‘genic’, a ‘gene’ referring here to a transcribed DNA sequence.


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