What evidence is there for the existence of individual genes with antagonistic pleiotropic effects?


Journal Article (Review)

Classical evolutionary theory predicts the existence of genes with antagonistic effects on longevity and various components of early-life fitness. Quantitative genetic studies have provided convincing evidence that such genes exist. However, antagonistic pleiotropic effects have rarely been attributed to individual loci. We examine several classes of longevity-assurance genes: those involved in regulation of the gonad; the insulin-like growth factor pathway; free-radical scavenging; heat shock proteins and apoptosis. We find initial evidence that antagonistic pleiotropic effects are pervasive in each of these classes of genes and in various model systems--although most studies lack explicit studies of fitness components. This is particularly true of human studies. Very little is known about the early-life fitness effects of longevity loci. Given the possible medical importance of such effects we urge their future study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leroi, AM; Bartke, A; De Benedictis, G; Franceschi, C; Gartner, A; Gonos, ES; Fedei, ME; Kivisild, T; Lee, S; Kartaf-Ozer, N; Schumacher, M; Sikora, E; Slagboom, E; Tatar, M; Yashin, AI; Vijg, J; Zwaan, B

Published Date

  • March 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 126 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 421 - 429

PubMed ID

  • 15664630

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15664630

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-6216

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-6374

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.mad.2004.07.012


  • eng