Journal Article

A Roadmap of Tandemly Arrayed Genes in the Genomes of Human, Mouse, and Rat

Valia Shoja and Liqing Zhang

in Molecular Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 23, issue 11, pages 2134-2141
Published in print November 2006 | ISSN: 0737-4038
Published online August 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-1719 | DOI:

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  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology


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Tandemly arrayed genes (TAGs) play an important functional and physiological role in the genome. Most previous studies have focused on individual TAG families in a few species, yet a broad characterization of TAGs is not available. Here we identified all TAGs in the genomes of humans, mouse, and rat and performed a comprehensive analysis of TAG distribution, TAG sizes, TAG orientations and intergenic distances, and TAG functions. TAGs account for about 14–17% of all genes in the genome and nearly one-third of all duplicated genes, highlighting the predominant role that tandem duplication plays in gene duplication. For all species, TAG distribution is highly heterogeneous along chromosomes and some chromosomes are enriched with TAG forests, whereas others are enriched with TAG deserts. The majority of TAGs are of size 2 for all genomes, similar to the previous findings in Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Oryza sativa, suggesting that it is a rather general phenomenon in eukaryotes. The comparison with the genome patterns shows that TAG members have a significantly higher proportion of parallel gene orientation in all species, corroborating Graham's claim that parallel orientation is the preferred form of orientation in TAGs. Moreover, TAG members with parallel orientation tend to be closer to each other than all neighboring genes in the genome with parallel orientation. The analyses of Gene Ontology function indicate that genes with receptor or binding activities are significantly overrepresented by TAGs. Computer simulation reveals that random gene rearrangements have little effect on the statistics of TAGs for all genomes. Finally, the average proportion of TAGs shows a trend of increase with the increase of family sizes, although the correlation between TAG proportions in individual families and family sizes is not significant.

Keywords: duplication; gene family; gene orientation; gene ontology; concerted evolution

Journal Article.  4762 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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