The evolution of duplicated genes considering protein stability constraints

Taverna DM, Goldstein RM

Biophysics Research Division, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-1055, USA.

Pac Symp Biocomput. 2000;:69-80.


We model the evolution of duplicated genes by assuming that the gene's protein message, if transcribed and translated, must form a stable, folded structure. We observe the change in protein structure over time in an evolving population of lattice model proteins. We find that selection of stable proteins conserves the original structure if the structure is highly designable, that is, if a large fraction of all foldable sequences form that structure. This effect implies the relative number of pseudogenes can be less than previously predicted with neutral evolution models. The data also suggests a reason for lower than expected ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions in pseudogenes.

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