Expression Divergence of Tandemly Arrayed Genes in Human and Mouse
Tandemly arrayed genes (TAGs) account for about one third of the duplicated genes in eukaryotic genomes, yet there has not been any systematic study of their gene expression patterns. Taking advantage of recently published large-scale microarray data sets, we studied the expression divergence of 361 two-member TAGs in human and 212 two-member TAGs in mouse and examined the effect of sequence divergence, gene orientation, and chromosomal proximity on the divergence of TAG expression patterns. Our results show that there is a weak negative correlation between sequence divergence of TAG members and their expression similarity. There is also a weak negative correlation between chromosomal proximity of TAG members and their expression similarity. We did not detect any significant relationship between gene orientation and expression similarity. We also found that downstream TAG members do not show significantly narrower expression breadth than upstream members, contrary to what we predict based on TAG expression divergence hypothesis that we propose. Finally, we show that both chromosomal proximity and expression correlation in TAGs do not differ significantly from their neighboring non-TAG gene pairs, suggesting that tandem duplication is unlikely to be the cause for the higher-than-random expression association between neighboring genes on a chromosome in human and mouse.