Term: pleiotropy and pleiotropic (adj)
Literally meaning: “many turns”
Origin: Anc Greek
πλέον or πλείον/pleon or pleion(=more, the comparative of πολύς/polys=much)
in 1910 by German geneticist and member of the Nazi party Ludwig Plate who wrote
“The more research into Mendelian factors advances, the more examples become known which can be explained only under the assumption of pleiotropy” (PLATE, 1910 quoted from McKusick 1976, pp. 301–302).
Pleiotropy is the phenomenon in which a single gene (or locus) affects multiple and usually unrelated distinct phenotypic traits. For example, the DMPK mutated in myotonic dystrophy type 1 is pleiotropic and can cause premature expression of several age-related signs, symptoms and metabolic disturbances including hormonal dysfunctions, progressive decrease in muscular mass, presenile cataracts, alopecia, reduced alertness, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism