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PLoS Comput Biol. 2007 May;3(5):e91.

A first look at ARFome: dual-coding genes in mammalian genomes.

Author information

1
Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

Coding of multiple proteins by overlapping reading frames is not a feature one would associate with eukaryotic genes. Indeed, codependency between codons of overlapping protein-coding regions imposes a unique set of evolutionary constraints, making it a costly arrangement. Yet in cases of tightly coexpressed interacting proteins, dual coding may be advantageous. Here we show that although dual coding is nearly impossible by chance, a number of human transcripts contain overlapping coding regions. Using newly developed statistical techniques, we identified 40 candidate genes with evolutionarily conserved overlapping coding regions. Because our approach is conservative, we expect mammals to possess more dual-coding genes. Our results emphasize that the skepticism surrounding eukaryotic dual coding is unwarranted: rather than being artifacts, overlapping reading frames are often hallmarks of fascinating biology.

PMID:
17511511
PMCID:
PMC1868773
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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