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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jan 18;102(3):707-12. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Rapid evolution of expression and regulatory divergences after yeast gene duplication.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China. xgu@iastate.edu


Although gene duplication is widely believed to be the major source of genetic novelty, how the expression or regulatory network of duplicate genes evolves remains poorly understood. In this article, we propose an additive expression distance between duplicate genes, so that the evolutionary rate of expression divergence after gene duplication can be estimated through phylogenomic analysis. We have analyzed yeast genome sequences, microarrays, and transcriptional regulatory networks, showing a >10-fold increase in the initial rate for both expression and regulatory network evolution after gene duplication but only an approximately 20% rate increase in the early stage for protein sequences. Based on the estimated age distribution of yeast duplicate genes, we roughly estimate that the initial rate of expression divergence shortly after gene duplication is 2.9 x 10(-9) per year, whereas the baseline rate for very ancient gene duplication is 0.14 x 10(-9) per year. Relative expression rate tests suggest that the expression of duplicate genes tends to evolve asymmetrically, that is, the expression of one copy evolves rapidly, whereas the other one largely maintains the ancestral expression profile. Our study highlights the crucial role of early rapid evolution after gene/genome duplication for continuously increasing the complexity of the yeast regulatory network.

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