Changes in gene regulation are believed to play an important role in the evolution of animals. It has been suggested that changes in cis-regulatory regions are responsible for many or most of the anatomical and behavioral differences between humans and apes. However, the study of the evolution of cis-regulatory regions is made problematic by the degeneracy of transcription factor (TF) binding sites and the shuffling of their positions. In this work, we use the predicted total affinity of a promoter for a large collection of TFs as the basis for studying the evolution of cis-regulatory regions in mammals. We introduce the human specificity of a promoter, measuring the divergence between the affinity profile of a human promoter and its orthologous promoters in other mammals. The promoters of genes involved in functional categories such as neural processes and signal transduction, among others, have higher human specificity compared with the rest of the genome. Clustering of the human-specific affinities (HSAs) of neural genes reveals patterns of promoter evolution associated with functional categories such as synaptic transmission and brain development and to diseases such as bipolar disorder and autism.

Evolution of promoter affinity for transcription factors in the human lineage.

MOLINERIS, Ivan;GRASSI, ELENA;ALA, UGO;DI CUNTO, Ferdinando;PROVERO, Paolo
2011

Abstract

Changes in gene regulation are believed to play an important role in the evolution of animals. It has been suggested that changes in cis-regulatory regions are responsible for many or most of the anatomical and behavioral differences between humans and apes. However, the study of the evolution of cis-regulatory regions is made problematic by the degeneracy of transcription factor (TF) binding sites and the shuffling of their positions. In this work, we use the predicted total affinity of a promoter for a large collection of TFs as the basis for studying the evolution of cis-regulatory regions in mammals. We introduce the human specificity of a promoter, measuring the divergence between the affinity profile of a human promoter and its orthologous promoters in other mammals. The promoters of genes involved in functional categories such as neural processes and signal transduction, among others, have higher human specificity compared with the rest of the genome. Clustering of the human-specific affinities (HSAs) of neural genes reveals patterns of promoter evolution associated with functional categories such as synaptic transmission and brain development and to diseases such as bipolar disorder and autism.
28(3)
2173
2183
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msr027
http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/8/2173.full.pdf+html
Molineris I; Grassi E; Ala U; Di Cunto F; Provero P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/89155
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