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Genome. 2012 Feb;55(2):147-51. doi: 10.1139/G2012-002. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

The abundance of processed pseudogenes derived from glycolytic genes is correlated with their expression level.

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Département de biologie et Centre de recherche avancée en génomique environnementale, Université d'Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


The abundance of processed pseudogenes in different vertebrate species is known to be proportional to the length of their oogenesis. However, this hypothesis cannot explain why, in a given species, certain genes produce more processed pseudogenes than others. In particular, one would expect that all genes of the glycolytic pathway would generate roughly the same number of processed pseudogenes. However, some glycolitic genes generate more processed pseudogenes than others. Here, we show that there is a positive correlation between the abundance of processed pseudogene generated from glycolytic genes and their level of expression. The variation in expression level of different glycolytic genes likely reflects the fact that some of them, such a GAPDH, have functions other than those they play in glycolysis. Furthermore, the age distribution of GAPDH-processed pseudogenes corresponds to the age distribution of LINE1 elements, which are the source of the reverse transcriptase that generates processed pseudogenes. These results support the hypothesis that gene expression levels affect the level of processed pseudogene production.

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