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Pseudogenes

Keith Robison robison at mito.harvard.edu
Sat Sep 9 09:50:25 EST 1995


Ram Samudrala (ram at mbisgi.umd.edu) wrote:
: Paul Linehan (linehan at ceph.cephb.fr) wrote:

: >They can of course be ancient or recent. They normally arise from
: >functional genes and not vice-versa (at least to my knowledge).

: If a functional gene arose from a pseudogene, it would not be
: classified as a pseudogene.

It's not clear that this is true -- a pseudogene (or portions
of it) might be resurrected -- much in the way a wrecked car
can still provide useful parts.  A pseudogene which has undergone
only a few mutational hits might be resurrected in part by
combining with another gene.

There is a related concept in microbiology of a "cryptic gene"
-- an inactive gene which can be reactivated by mutation.  


Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI

robison at mito.harvard.edu 






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