Mammalian Genes Preferentially Co-Retained in Radiation Hybrid Panels Tend to Avoid Coexpression
Coexpression has been frequently used to explore modules of functionally related genes in eukaryotic genomes. However, we found that genetically interacting mammalian genes identified through radiation hybrid (RH) genotypes tend not to be coexpressed across tissues. This pattern remained unchanged after controlling for potential confounding factors, including chromosomal linkage, chromosomal distance, and gene duplication. Because >99.9% of the genetically interacting genes were identified according to the higher co-retention frequencies, our observation implies that coexpression is not necessarily an indication of the need for the co-presence of two genes in the genome, which is a prerequisite for cofunctionality of their coding proteins in the cell. Therefore, coexpression information must be applied cautiously to the exploration of the functional relatedness of genes in a genome.