Allele number, or zygosity, is a clear determinant of gene expression in diploid cells. But the relationship between the number of copies of a gene and its expression can be hard to anticipate, especially when the gene in question is embedded in a regulatory circuit that contains feedbacks. Here we study this question making use of the natural genetic variability of human populations, which allows us to compare the expression profiles of a receptor protein in natural killer cells between donors infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) with one or two copies of the allele. Crucially, the distribution of gene expression in many of the donors is bimodal, indicative of the presence of a positive feedback somewhere in the regulatory environment of the gene. Three separate gene-circuit models differing in the location of the positive feedback with respect to the gene can all reproduce well the homozygous data. However, when the resulting fitted models are applied to the hemizygous donors, only one model (the one with the positive feedback located at the level of gene transcription) reproduces the experimentally observed gene-expression profile. In that way, our work shows that zygosity can help us relate structure and function of gene regulatory networks.