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posted 17. January 2004 10:59
PNAS | December 23, 2003 | vol. 100 | no. 26 | 15661-15665
Organismal complexity, protein complexity, and gene duplicability
by Jing Yang, Richard Lusk, and Wen-Hsiung Li
Abstract: Although the evolutionary significance of gene duplication has long been recognized, it remains unclear what determines gene duplicability. We find protein complexity to be an important determinant because the proportion of unduplicated genes (P) increases with the number of subunits in a protein. However, P is high (>=65%) for both monomers and multimers in yeast, but ~30% in human except for subunits of large multimers, implying that organismal complexity is a stronger determinant of gene duplicability than protein complexity. The same conclusion is reached from a comparison of family sizes in yeast and human.