Reference: Yang J, et al. (2003) Rate of protein evolution versus fitness effect of gene deletion. Mol Biol Evol 20(5):772-4

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Abstract


Whether nonessential genes evolve faster than essential genes has been a controversial issue. To resolve this issue, we use the data from a nearly complete set of single-gene deletions in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to assess protein dispensability. Also, instead of the nematode, which was used previously but is only distantly related to S. cerevisiae, we use another yeast, Candida albicans, as a second species to estimate the evolutionary distances between orthologous genes in two species. Our analysis reveals only a weak correlation between protein dispensability and evolutionary rate. More important, the correlation disappears when duplicate genes are removed from the analysis. And surprisingly, the average rate of nonsynonymous substitution is considerably lower than that for single-copy genes in the yeast genome. This observation suggests that structural constraints are more important in determining the rate of evolution of a protein than dispensability because duplicate genes are on average more dispensable than single-copy genes. For duplicate genes, those with only a weak effect or no effect of deletion on fitness evolve on average faster than those with a moderate or strong effect of deletion on fitness, which in turn evolve on average faster than those with a lethal effect of deletion.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. | Comparative Study
Authors
Yang J, Gu Z, Li WH
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