[BioC] question about housekeeping gene

Pete Lee bioinformatics at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 9 06:25:18 MET 2004

Housekeeping gene: An antiquated term used to describe
a category of genes thought to be expressed in every
cell type at a constant level. The name comes from the
presumed function of such genes - functions of basic
necessity for every cell type. 

Their seemingly constant level of expression (in
Northern blot assays) led to the term being synonymous
with the term "control gene" (a gene used as a
standard index against which other gene's expression
levels were evaluated).  

Of course they don't really exist.
And standardizing against one gene's expression level,
or against a subset of genes for that matter, distorts
results in a way that is more confusing than
standardizing against the entire set of genes. 
For more see:

Hope this is helps.


--- zhao luo <zhaoluo at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I'm very confused with the use of housekeeping gene.
> Can anyone give me some 
> detail?
> Thank a lots
> Zhao
> _______________________________________________
> Bioconductor mailing list
> Bioconductor at stat.math.ethz.ch

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