Using disease-associated coding sequence variation to investigate functional compensation by human paralogous proteins

Sayaka Miura, Stephanie Tate, Sudhir Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gene duplication enables the functional diversification in species. It is thought that duplicated genes may be able to compensate if the function of one of the gene copies is disrupted. This possibility is extensively debated with some studies reporting proteome-wide compensation, whereas others suggest functional compensation among only recent gene duplicates or no compensation at all. We report results from a systematic molecular evo-lutionary analysis to test the predictions of the functional compensation hypothesis. We contrasted the density of Mendelian disease-associated single nucleotide variants (dSNVs) in proteins with no discernable paralogs (singletons) with the dSNV density in proteins found in multigene families. Under the functional compensation hypothesis, we expected to find greater numbers of dSNVs in singletons due to the lack of any compensating partners. Our analy-ses produced an opposite pattern; paralogs have over 35% higher dSNV density than singletons. We found that these patterns are concordant with similar differences in the rates of amino acid evolution (ie, functional constraints), as the proteins with paralogs have evolved 33% slower than singletons. Our evolutionary constraint explanation is robust to differences in family sizes, ages (young vs. old duplicates), and degrees of amino acid sequence similarities among paralogs. Therefore, disease-associated human variation does not exhibit significant signals of functional compensation among paralogous proteins, but rather an evolutionary constraint hypothesis provides a better explanation for the observed patterns of disease-associated and neutral polymorphisms in the human genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalEvolutionary Bioinformatics
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Keywords

  • Evolutionary rate
  • Functional compensation
  • Gene duplication
  • Mendelian disease
  • Single nucleotide variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications

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