Is trans-complementation a complementation of transgenes?

The crystal structure reveals a trans-complementation mechanism whereby an incomplete immunoglobulin-like domain assimilates an isoform-specific myomesin interdomain sequence.



1 Answer 1


The term complementation refers to the recover of a phenotype or characteristic ("or function of a protein") that was altered due to mutations. The complementation can be a cis, a mutation in the same gene that restores function, or trans mutation on a secondary gene that restore the function.

An example from wikipedia:

For a simple example of a complementation test, suppose a geneticist is interested in studying two strains of white-eyed flies of the species Drosophila melanogaster, more commonly known as the common fruit fly. In this species, wild type flies have red eyes and eye color is known to be related to two genes, A and B. Each one of these genes has two alleles, a dominant one that codes for a working protein (A and B respectively) and a recessive one that codes for a malfunctioning protein (a and b respectively). Since both proteins are necessary for the synthesis of red pigmentation in the eyes, if a given fly is homozygous for either a or b, it will have white eyes. Knowing this, the geneticist may perform a complementation test on two separately obtained strains of pure-breeding white-eyed flies. The test is performed by crossing two flies, one from each strain. If the resulting progeny have red eyes, the two strains are said to complement; if the progeny have white eyes, they do not. If the strains complement, we imagine that one strain must have a genotype aa BB and the other AA bb, which when crossed yield the genotype AaBb. In other words, each strain is homozygous for a different deficiency that produces the same phenotype. If the strains do not complement, they both must have genotypes aa BB, AA bb, or aa bb. In other words, they are both homozygous for the same deficiency, which obviously will produce the same phenotype.

  • $\begingroup$ So, my first guess was wrong and trans-complementation term stands for complementation of genes arranged in trans-configuration? $\endgroup$
    – user619271
    Nov 30, 2018 at 7:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user619271 indeed. $\endgroup$
    – BPinto
    Nov 30, 2018 at 13:03

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