Gene expression and molecular evolution

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2001 Dec;11(6):660-6. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(00)00250-1.


The combination of complete genome sequence information and estimates of mRNA abundances have begun to reveal causes of both silent and protein sequence evolution. Translational selection appears to explain patterns of synonymous codon usage in many prokaryotes as well as a number of eukaryotic model organisms (with the notable exception of vertebrates). Relationships between gene length and codon usage bias, however, remain unexplained. Intriguing correlations between expression patterns and protein divergence suggest some general mechanisms underlying protein evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Codon / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Codon