Toward a Molecular Understanding of Pleiotropy

Toward a Molecular Understanding of Pleiotropy Pleiotropy refers to the observation of a single gene influencing multiple phenotypic traits. Although pleiotropy is a common phenomenon with broad implications, its molecular basis is unclear. Using functional genomic data of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , here we show that, compared with genes of low pleiotropy, highly pleiotropic genes participate in more biological processes through distribution of the protein products in more cellular components and involvement in more protein–protein interactions. However, the two groups of genes do not differ in the number of molecular functions or the number of protein domains per gene. Thus, pleiotropy is generally caused by a single molecular function involved in multiple biological processes. We also provide genomewide evidence that the evolutionary conservation of genes and gene sequences positively correlates with the level of gene pleiotropy. Footnotes Communicating editor: S. Y okoyama Received May 2, 2006. Accepted May 15, 2006. Copyright © 2006 by the Genetics Society of America http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Genetics Genetics Society of America

Toward a Molecular Understanding of Pleiotropy

Genetics, Volume 173 (4): 1885 – Aug 1, 2006

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Publisher
Genetics Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by the Genetics Society of America
ISSN
0016-6731
eISSN
1943-2631
D.O.I.
10.1534/genetics.106.060269
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Pleiotropy refers to the observation of a single gene influencing multiple phenotypic traits. Although pleiotropy is a common phenomenon with broad implications, its molecular basis is unclear. Using functional genomic data of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , here we show that, compared with genes of low pleiotropy, highly pleiotropic genes participate in more biological processes through distribution of the protein products in more cellular components and involvement in more protein–protein interactions. However, the two groups of genes do not differ in the number of molecular functions or the number of protein domains per gene. Thus, pleiotropy is generally caused by a single molecular function involved in multiple biological processes. We also provide genomewide evidence that the evolutionary conservation of genes and gene sequences positively correlates with the level of gene pleiotropy. Footnotes Communicating editor: S. Y okoyama Received May 2, 2006. Accepted May 15, 2006. Copyright © 2006 by the Genetics Society of America

Journal

GeneticsGenetics Society of America

Published: Aug 1, 2006

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