Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and chromosome 16p11.2 CNV susceptibility.
ABSTRACT: Genetic differences that specify unique aspects of human evolution have typically been identified by comparative analyses between the genomes of humans and closely related primates, including more recently the genomes of archaic hominins. Not all regions of the genome, however, are equally amenable to such study. Recurrent copy number variation (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 accounts for approximately 1% of cases of autism and is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications, many of which arose recently during human evolution. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the locus and identify bolA family member 2 (BOLA2) as a gene duplicated exclusively in Homo sapiens. We estimate that a 95-kilobase-pair segment containing BOLA2 duplicated across the critical region approximately 282 thousand years ago (ka), one of the latest among a series of genomic changes that dramatically restructured the locus during hominid evolution. All humans examined carried one or more copies of the duplication, which nearly fixed early in the human lineage--a pattern unlikely to have arisen so rapidly in the absence of selection (P?
Project description:Human-specific duplications at chromosome 16p11.2 mediate recurrent pathogenic 600 kbp BP4-BP5 copy-number variations, which are among the most common genetic causes of autism. These copy-number polymorphic duplications are under positive selection and include three to eight copies of BOLA2, a gene involved in the maturation of cytosolic iron-sulfur proteins. To investigate the potential advantage provided by the rapid expansion of BOLA2, we assessed hematological traits and anemia prevalence in 379,385 controls and individuals who have lost or gained copies of BOLA2: 89 chromosome 16p11.2 BP4-BP5 deletion carriers and 56 reciprocal duplication carriers in the UK Biobank. We found that the 16p11.2 deletion is associated with anemia (18/89 carriers, 20%, p = 4e-7, OR = 5), particularly iron-deficiency anemia. We observed similar enrichments in two clinical 16p11.2 deletion cohorts, which included 6/63 (10%) and 7/20 (35%) unrelated individuals with anemia, microcytosis, low serum iron, or low blood hemoglobin. Upon stratification by BOLA2 copy number, our data showed an association between low BOLA2 dosage and the above phenotypes (8/15 individuals with three copies, 53%, p = 1e-4). In parallel, we analyzed hematological traits in mice carrying the 16p11.2 orthologous deletion or duplication, as well as Bola2+/- and Bola2-/- animals. The Bola2-deficient mice and the mice carrying the deletion showed early evidence of iron deficiency, including a mild decrease in hemoglobin, lower plasma iron, microcytosis, and an increased red blood cell zinc-protoporphyrin-to-heme ratio. Our results indicate that BOLA2 participates in iron homeostasis in vivo, and its expansion has a potential adaptive role in protecting against iron deficiency.
Project description:Whole-genome duplications (WGDs) have recurred in the evolution of angiosperms, resulting in many duplicated chromosomal segments. Local gene duplications are also widespread in angiosperms. WGD-derived duplicates, that is, ohnologs, and local duplicates often show contrasting patterns of gene retention and evolution. However, many genes in angiosperms underwent multiple gene duplication events, possibly by different modes, indicating that different modes of gene duplication are not mutually exclusive. In two representative angiosperm genomes, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa), we found that 9.6% and 11.3% of unique ohnologs, corresponding to 15.5% and 17.1% of ohnolog pairs, were also involved in local duplications, respectively. Locally duplicated ohnologs are widely distributed in different duplicated chromosomal segments and functionally biased. Coding sequence divergence between duplicated genes is denoted by nonsynonymous (Ka) and synonymous (Ks) substitution rates. Locally duplicated ohnolog pairs tend to have higher Ka, Ka/Ks, and gene expression divergence than nonlocally duplicated ohnolog pairs. Locally duplicated ohnologs also tend to have higher interspecies sequence divergence. These observations indicate that locally duplicated ohnologs evolve faster than nonlocally duplicated ohnologs. This study highlights the necessity to take local duplications into account when analyzing the evolutionary dynamics of ohnologs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Segmental duplications (SDs) are euchromatic portions of genomic DNA (> or = 1 kb) that occur at more than one site within the genome, and typically share a high level of sequence identity (>90%). Approximately 5% of the human genome is composed of such duplicated sequences. Here we report the detailed investigation of CHEK2 duplications. CHEK2 is a multiorgan cancer susceptibility gene encoding a cell cycle checkpoint kinase acting in the DNA-damage response signalling pathway. The continuous presence of the CHEK2 gene in all eukaryotes and its important role in maintaining genome stability prompted us to investigate the duplicative evolution and phylogeny of CHEK2 and its paralogs during anthropoid evolution. RESULTS: To study CHEK2 duplicon evolution in anthropoids we applied a combination of comparative FISH and in silico analyses. Our comparative FISH results with a CHEK2 fosmid probe revealed the single-copy status of CHEK2 in New World monkeys, Old World monkeys and gibbons. Whereas a single CHEK2 duplication was detected in orangutan, a multi-site signal pattern indicated a burst of duplication in African great apes and human. Phylogenetic analysis of paralogous and ancestral CHEK2 sequences in human, chimpanzee and rhesus macaque confirmed this burst of duplication, which occurred after the radiation of orangutan and African great apes. In addition, we used inter-species quantitative PCR to determine CHEK2 copy numbers. An amplification of CHEK2 was detected in African great apes and the highest CHEK2 copy number of all analysed species was observed in the human genome. Furthermore, we detected variation in CHEK2 copy numbers within the analysed set of human samples. CONCLUSION: Our detailed analysis revealed the highly dynamic nature of CHEK2 duplication during anthropoid evolution. We determined a burst of CHEK2 duplication after the radiation of orangutan and African great apes and identified the highest CHEK2 copy number in human. In conclusion, our analysis of CHEK2 duplicon evolution revealed that SDs contribute to inter-species variation. Furthermore, our qPCR analysis led us to presume CHEK2 copy number variation in human, and molecular diagnostics of the cancer susceptibility gene CHEK2 inside the duplicated region might be hampered by the individual-specific set of duplicons.
Project description:Tandem duplications are concentrated within the Pcdh cluster throughout vertebrate evolution and as copy number variations (CNVs) in human populations, but the effects of tandem duplication in the Pcdh cluster remain elusive. To investigate the effects of tandem duplication in the Pcdh cluster, here we generated and analyzed a new line of the Pcdh cluster mutant mice. In the mutant allele, a 218-kb region containing the Pcdh-?2 to Pcdh-?c2 variable exons with their promoters was duplicated and the individual duplicated Pcdh isoforms can be disctinguished. The individual duplicated Pcdh-? isoforms showed diverse expression level with stochastic expression manner, even though those have an identical promoter sequence. Interestingly, the 5'-located duplicated Pcdh-?c2, which is constitutively expressed in the wild-type brain, shifted to stochastic expression accompanied by increased DNA methylation. These results demonstrate that tandem duplication in the Pcdh cluster expands the stochastic expression repertoire irrespective of sequence divergence.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The rate of gene duplication is an important parameter in the study of evolution, but the influence of gene conversion and technical problems have confounded previous attempts to provide a satisfying estimate. We propose a new strategy to estimate the rate that involves separate quantification of the rates of two different mechanisms of gene duplication and subsequent combination of the two rates, based on their respective contributions to the overall gene duplication rate. RESULTS: Previous estimates of gene duplication rates are based on small gene families. Therefore, to assess the applicability of this to families of all sizes, we looked at both two-copy gene families and the entire genome. We studied unequal crossover and retrotransposition, and found that these mechanisms of gene duplication are largely independent and account for a substantial amount of duplicated genes. Unequal crossover contributed more to duplications in the entire genome than retrotransposition did, but this contribution was significantly less in two-copy gene families, and duplicated genes arising from this mechanism are more likely to be retained. Combining rates of duplication using the two mechanisms, we estimated the overall rates to be from approximately 0.515 to 1.49 x 10(-3) per gene per million years in human, and from approximately 1.23 to 4.23 x 10(-3) in mouse. The rates estimated from two-copy gene families are always lower than those from the entire genome, and so it is not appropriate to use small families to estimate the rate for the entire genome. CONCLUSION: We present a novel strategy for estimating gene duplication rates. Our results show that different mechanisms contribute differently to the evolution of small and large gene families.
Project description:A total of 47 clinical samples were identified during an active surveillance program of respiratory infections in Buenos Aires (BA) (1999 to 2004) that contained sequences of human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) with a 60-nucleotide duplication in the attachment (G) protein gene. This duplication was analogous to that previously described for other three viruses also isolated in Buenos Aires in 1999 (A. Trento et al., J. Gen. Virol. 84:3115-3120, 2003). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that BA sequences with that duplication shared a common ancestor (dated about 1998) with other HRSV G sequences reported worldwide after 1999. The duplicated nucleotide sequence was an exact copy of the preceding 60 nucleotides in early viruses, but both copies of the duplicated segment accumulated nucleotide substitutions in more recent viruses at a rate apparently higher than in other regions of the G protein gene. The evolution of the viruses with the duplicated G segment apparently followed the overall evolutionary pattern previously described for HRSV, and this genotype has replaced other prevailing antigenic group B genotypes in Buenos Aires and other places. Thus, the duplicated segment represents a natural tag that can be used to track the dissemination and evolution of HRSV in an unprecedented setting. We have taken advantage of this situation to reexamine the molecular epidemiology of HRSV and to explore the natural history of this important human pathogen.
Project description:Gene duplication provides a window of opportunity for biological variants to persist under the protection of a co-expressed copy with similar or redundant function. Duplication catalyzes innovation (neofunctionalization), subfunction degeneration (subfunctionalization), and genetic buffering (redundancy), and the genetic survival of each paralog is triggered by mechanisms that add, compromise, or do not alter protein function. We tested the applicability of three types of mechanisms for promoting the retained expression of duplicated genes in 290 expressed paralogs of the tetraploid clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Tests were based on explicit expectations concerning the ka/ks ratio, and the number and location of nonsynonymous substitutions after duplication. Functional constraints on the majority of paralogs are not significantly different from a singleton ortholog. However, we recover strong support that some of them have an asymmetric rate of nonsynonymous substitution: 6% match predictions of the neofunctionalization hypothesis in that (1) each paralog accumulated nonsynonymous substitutions at a significantly different rate and (2) the one that evolves faster has a higher ka/ks ratio than the other paralog and than a singleton ortholog. Fewer paralogs (3%) exhibit a complementary pattern of substitution at the protein level that is predicted by enhancement or degradation of different functional domains, and the remaining 13% have a higher average ka/ks ratio in both paralogs that is consistent with altered functional constraints, diversifying selection, or activity-reducing mutations after duplication. We estimate that these paralogs have been retained since they originated by genome duplication between 21 and 41 million years ago. Multiple mechanisms operate to promote the retained expression of duplicates in the same genome, in genes in the same functional class, over the same period of time following duplication, and sometimes in the same pair of paralogs. None of these paralogs are superfluous; degradation or enhancement of different protein subfunctions and neofunctionalization are plausible hypotheses for the retained expression of some of them. Evolution of most X. laevis paralogs, however, is consistent with retained expression via mechanisms that do not radically alter functional constraints, such as selection to preserve post-duplication stoichiometry or temporal, quantitative, or spatial subfunctionalization.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Gene and genome duplication events increase the amount of genetic material that might then contribute to an increase in the genomic and phenotypic complexity of organisms during evolution. Thus, it has been argued that there is a relationship between gene copy number and morphological complexity and/or species diversity. This hypothesis implies that duplicated genes have subdivided or evolved novel functions compared to their pre-duplication proto-orthologs. Such a functional divergence might be caused by an increase in evolutionary rates in one ortholog, by changes in expression, regulatory evolution, insertion of repetitive elements, or due to positive Darwinian selection in one copy. We studied a set of 2466 genes that were present in Danio rerio, Takifugu rubripes, Tetraodon nigroviridis and Oryzias latipes to test (i) for forces of positive Darwinian selection; (ii) how frequently duplicated genes are retained, and (iii) whether novel gene functions might have evolved. RESULTS:25% (610) of all investigated genes show significantly smaller or higher genetic distances in the genomes of particular fish species compared to their human ortholog than their orthologs in other fish according to relative rate tests. We identified 49 new paralogous pairs of duplicated genes in fish, in which one of the paralogs is under positive Darwinian selection and shows a significantly higher rate of molecular evolution in one of the four fish species, whereas the other copy apparently did not undergo adaptive changes since it retained the original rate of evolution. Among the genes under positive Darwinian selection, we found a surprisingly high number of ATP binding proteins and transcription factors. CONCLUSION:The significant rate difference suggests that the function of these rate-changed genes might be essential for the respective fish species. We demonstrate that the measurement of positive selection is a powerful tool to identify divergence rates of duplicated genes and that this method has the capacity to identify potentially interesting candidates for adaptive gene evolution.
Project description:DNA methylation is mediated by a conserved family of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts). The human genome encodes three active Dnmts (Dnmt1, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b), the tRNA methyltransferase Dnmt2, and the regulatory protein Dnmt3L. Despite their high degree of conservation among different species, genes encoding Dnmts have been duplicated and/or lost in multiple lineages throughout evolution, indicating that the DNA methylation machinery has some potential to undergo evolutionary change. However, little is known about the extent to which this machinery, or the methylome, varies among vertebrates. Here, we study the molecular evolution of Dnmt1, the enzyme responsible for maintenance of DNA methylation patterns after replication, in 79 vertebrate species. Our analyses show that all studied species exhibit a single copy of the DNMT1 gene, with the exception of tilapia and marsupials (tammar wallaby, koala, Tasmanian devil and opossum), each of which displays two apparently functional DNMT1 copies. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that DNMT1 duplicated before the radiation of major marsupial groups (i.e., at least ~75 million years ago), thus giving rise to two DNMT1 copies in marsupials (copy 1 and copy 2). In the opossum lineage, copy 2 was lost, and copy 1 recently duplicated again, generating three DNMT1 copies: two putatively functional genes (copy 1a and 1b) and one pseudogene (copy 1?). Both marsupial copies (DNMT1 copies 1 and 2) are under purifying selection, and copy 2 exhibits elevated rates of evolution and signatures of positive selection, suggesting a scenario of neofunctionalization. This gene duplication might have resulted in modifications in marsupial methylomes and their dynamics.
Project description:An attractive and long-standing hypothesis regarding the evolution of genes after duplication posits that the duplication event creates new evolutionary possibilities by releasing a copy of the gene from constraint. Apparent support was found in numerous analyses, particularly, the observation of higher rates of evolution in duplicated as compared with singleton genes. Could it, instead, be that more duplicable genes (owing to mutation, fixation, or retention biases) are intrinsically faster evolving? To uncouple the measurement of rates of evolution from the determination of duplicate or singleton status, we measure the rates of evolution in singleton genes in outgroup primate lineages but classify these genes as to whether they have duplicated or not in a crown group of great apes. We find that rates of evolution are higher in duplicable genes prior to the duplication event. In part this is owing to a negative correlation between coding sequence length and rate of evolution, coupled with a bias toward smaller genes being more duplicable. The effect is masked by difference in expression rate between duplicable genes and singletons. Additionally, in contradiction to the classical assumption, we find no convincing evidence for an increase in dN/dS after duplication, nor for rate asymmetry between duplicates. We conclude that high rates of evolution of duplicated genes are not solely a consequence of the duplication event, but are rather a predictor of duplicability. These results are consistent with a model in which successful gene duplication events in mammals are skewed toward events of minimal phenotypic impact.