Predicting the Proportion of Essential Genes in Mouse Duplicates Based on Biased Mouse Knockout Genes

ArticleinJournal of Molecular Evolution 67(6):705-9 · December 2008with9 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.68 · DOI: 10.1007/s00239-008-9170-9 · Source: PubMed


    In the yeast or nematode, the proportion of essential genes in duplicates is lower than in singletons (single-copy genes), due to the functional redundancy. One may expect that it should be the same in the mouse genome. However, based on the publicly available mouse knockout data, it was observed that the proportion of essential genes in duplicates is similar to that in singletons. The most straightforward interpretation, as claimed in a recent study, is that duplicate genes may have a negligible role in the mouse genetic robustness. Here we show that in the current mouse knockout dataset, recently duplicated genes have been highly underrepresented, leading to an overestimation of the proportion of essential genes in duplicates. After estimating the duplication time of mouse duplication events, we have developed a simple bias-correcting procedure and shown that the bias-corrected proportion of essential genes in mouse duplicates is significantly lower than that in singletons.