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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2007, Article ID 58721, 4 pages
Research Article

Protein Coevolution and Isoexpression in Yeast Macromolecular Complexes

1CNRS UMR 7637, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, 10 rue Vauquelin, Paris 75005, France
2European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg, Meyerhofstraße 1, Heidelberg 69117, Germany
3Institut Cochin, Paris 75014, France
4INSERM U567, Paris 75014, France
5CNRS UMR 8104, Paris 75014, France
6Faculté de Médecine René Descartes, Université Paris 5, UM 3, Paris 75014, France
7UFR de Biologie et Sciences de la Nature, Université Paris 7, Paris 75005, France

Received 4 September 2006; Revised 20 November 2006; Accepted 23 November 2006

Academic Editor: Pierre Legrain

Copyright © 2007 Laurence Ettwiller and Reiner A. Veitia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have shown that genes encoding subunits of macromolecular complexes have similar evolutionary rates (K) and expression levels (E). Besides, it is known that the expression of a gene is a strong predictor of its rate of evolution (i.e., E and K are correlated). Here we show that intracomplex variation of subunit expression correlates with intracomplex variation of their evolutionary rates (using two different measures of dispersion). However, a similar trend was observed for randomized complexes. Therefore, using a mathematical transformation, we created new variables capturing intracomplex variation of both E and K. The values of these new compound variables were smaller for real complexes than for randomized ones. This shows that proteins in complexes tend to have closer expressivities (E) and K's simultaneously than in the randomly grouped genes. We speculate about the possible implications of this finding.