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Trends Genet. 2010 Oct;26(10):425-30. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Maintenance of duplicate genes and their functional redundancy by reduced expression.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Abstract

Although evolutionary theories predict functional divergence between duplicate genes, many old duplicates still maintain a high degree of functional similarity and are synthetically lethal or sick, an observation that has puzzled many geneticists. We propose that expression reduction, a special type of subfunctionalization, facilitates the retention of duplicates and the conservation of their ancestral functions. Consistent with this hypothesis, gene expression data from both yeasts and mammals show a substantial decrease in the level of gene expression after duplication. Whereas the majority of the expression reductions are likely to be neutral, some are apparently beneficial to rebalancing gene dosage after duplication.

PMID:
20708291
PMCID:
PMC2942974
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2010.07.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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