The classical genetic code maps nucleotide triplets to amino acids. The associated sequence composition is complex, representing many elaborations during evolution of form and function. Other genomic elements code for the expression and processing of RNA transcripts. However, over 50% of the human genome consists of widely dispersed repetitive sequences. Among these are simple sequence repeats (SSRs), representing a class of flipons, that under physiological conditions, form alternative nucleic acid conformations such as Z-DNA, G4 quartets, I-motifs, and triplexes. Proteins that bind in a structure-specific manner enable the seeding of condensates with the potential to regulate a wide range of biological processes. SSRs also encode the low complexity peptide repeats to patch condensates together, increasing the number of combinations possible. In situations where SSRs are transcribed, SSR-specific, single-stranded binding proteins may further impact condensate formation. Jointly, flipons and patches speed evolution by enhancing the functionality of condensates. Here, the focus is on the selection of SSR flipons and peptide patches that solve for survival under a wide range of environmental contexts, generating complexity with simple parts.
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