Functional divergence of proteins through frameshift mutations.

Frameshift mutations are generally considered to be deleterious and of little importance for the evolution of novel gene functions. However, by screening an exhaustive set of vertebrate gene families, we found that, when a second transcript encoding the original gene product compensates for this mutation, frameshift mutations can be retained for millions of years and enable new gene functions to be acquired.

Raes, J., Van de Peer, Y. (2005) Functional divergence of proteins through frameshift mutations. Trends Genet. 21(8):428-31.









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