Conflicts of interest: None
Molecular mechanisms of paralogous compensation and the robustness of cellular networks
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Special Issue: Current Approaches in Evolution: from Molecules to Cells and Organisms
Volume 322, Issue 7, pages 488–499, November 2014
How to Cite
2013. Molecular mechanisms of paralogous compensation and the robustness of cellular networks. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 322B:488–499., , , .
- Issue published online: 10 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 8 OCT 2013
- Quebec Research Network on Protein Function, Structure and Engineering (PROTEO)
- Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México. Grant Numbers: CONACYT, CB2011/164889
- University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States. Grant Numbers: UC-MEXUS, CN-11-559
- Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). Grant Numbers: GMX-299432, GMX-191597
- NSERC Discovery
Robustness is the ability of a system to maintain its function despite environmental or genetic perturbation. Genetic robustness is a key emerging property of living systems and is achieved notably by the presence of partially redundant parts that result from gene duplication. Functional overlap between paralogs allows them to compensate for each other's loss, as commonly revealed by aggravating genetic interactions. However, the molecular mechanisms linking the genotype (loss of function of a gene) to the phenotype (genetic buffering by a paralog) are still poorly understood and the molecular aspects of this compensation are rarely addressed in studies of gene duplicates. Here, we review molecular mechanisms of functional compensation between paralogous genes, many of which from studies that were not meant to study this phenomenon. We propose a standardized terminology and, depending on whether or not the molecular behavior of the intact gene is modified in response to the deletion of its paralog, we classify mechanisms of compensation into passive and active events. We further describe three non-exclusive mechanisms of active paralogous compensation for which there is evidence in the literature: changes in abundance, in localization, and in protein interactions. This review will serve as a framework for the genetic and molecular analysis of paralogous compensation, one of the universal features of genetic systems. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 322B: 488–499, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.