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Pseudogenes

Ram Samudrala ram at mbisgi.umd.edu
Sat Sep 9 22:26:44 EST 1995


Keith Robison (robison at mito.harvard.edu) wrote:

>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.

I was just pointing out what I thought was an issue of definition.  It
is not clear to me what Paul means by "vice-versa", but I don't see
the meaning of it.  When you have a functional gene, regardless of
where it arose from, it will not be classified as a pseudogene.  It
might be true that functional genes can arise from pseudogenes and
pseudogenes can arise from functional genes, but if the former
happens, I don't see the meaning in classifying it a pseudogene.

In your example, Keith, if a pseudogene is indeed resurrected, it
would be "functional" and therefore, there'd be no reason to call it
"pseudo".

It's just that the "vice-versa" struck me funny.  

--Ram

me at ram.org  ||  http://www.ram.org  ||  http://www.twisted-helices.com/th
  Person man, person man. Hit on the head with a frying pan. 
  Lives his life in a garbage can. Person man, 
  is depressed or is he a mess? Does he feel totally worthless? 
  Who came up with person man? Degraded man, person man. ---TMBG



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