320 pages, 30 colour illustrations, 11 line illustrations
Gene sharing means that the different functions of a protein may share the same gene--that is, a protein produced by a gene evolved to fulfill a specialized function for one biological role may also perform alternate functions for other biological roles.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Joram Piatigorsky and colleagues coined the term "gene sharing" to describe the use of multifunctional proteins as crystallins in the eye lens. In Gene Sharing and Evolution Piatigorsky explores the generality and implications of gene sharing throughout evolution and argues that most if not all proteins perform a variety of functions in the same and in different species, and that this is a fundamental necessity for evolution.
How is a gene identified, by its structure or its function? Do the boundaries of a gene include its regulatory elements? What is the influence of gene expression on natural selection of protein functions, and how is variation in gene expression selected in evolution? These are neither new nor resolved questions. Piatigorsky shows us that the extensiveness of gene sharing and protein multifunctionality offers a way of responding to these questions that sheds light on the complex interrelationships among genes, proteins, and evolution.
[Gene Sharing and Evolution] provides great motivation for evolutionists to continue investigating the origins of new protein function, a topic central to evo-devo biology. The book is a parade of interesting molecular biology with abundant and clear color illustrations. The work is copiously referenced. With over 1100 references in the bibliography, most anyone is certain to find new and interesting literature. As such, I recommend Gene Sharing and Evolution for a graduate seminar, as a reference book on gene multi-functionality with many detailed examples, and for anyone pondering the evolutionary origins of novelty at the molecular level. -- Todd H. Oakley Evolution & Development A masterpiece for a broad medical and scientific readership. The text provides a powerful reminder that genes and proteins do not function as isolated entities but are components of a dynamic and elaborate temporal network. With the recent advent of the -omics disciplines, we are witnessing fundamental changes that propel biomedical sciences toward a new level, in which the global perspectives become the fundamental priority. -- Richard A. Stein Journal of the American Medical Association 20070919
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