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Molecular mechanisms of paralogous compensation and the robustness of cellular networks

Authors

  • Guillaume Diss,

    1. Département de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes, PROTEO, Pavillon Charles-Eugène-Marchand, Québec, QC, Canada
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  • Diana Ascencio,

    1. Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para la Biodiversidad (LANGEBIO), Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
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  • Alexander DeLuna,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para la Biodiversidad (LANGEBIO), Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
    • Correspondence to: Christian R. Landry, Institut de Biologie Integrative et des, Systemes, Pavillon Charles-Eugene-Marchand, 1030 Avenue de la Medecine—Universite Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6. E-mail: christian.landry@bio.ulaval.ca

      Correspondence to: Alexander DeLuna, Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para, la Biodiversidad (LANGEBIO), Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, 36821 Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. E-mail: adeluna@langebio.cinvestav.mx

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  • Christian R. Landry

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes, PROTEO, Pavillon Charles-Eugène-Marchand, Québec, QC, Canada
    • Correspondence to: Christian R. Landry, Institut de Biologie Integrative et des, Systemes, Pavillon Charles-Eugene-Marchand, 1030 Avenue de la Medecine—Universite Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6. E-mail: christian.landry@bio.ulaval.ca

      Correspondence to: Alexander DeLuna, Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para, la Biodiversidad (LANGEBIO), Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, 36821 Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. E-mail: adeluna@langebio.cinvestav.mx

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  • Conflicts of interest: None

ABSTRACT

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.

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