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An Ancient Fecundability-Associated Polymorphism Switches a Repressor into an Enhancer of Endometrial TAP2 Expression.


ABSTRACT: Variation in female reproductive traits, such as fertility, fecundity, and fecundability, is heritable in humans, but identifying and functionally characterizing genetic variants associated with these traits has been challenging. Here, we explore the functional significance and evolutionary history of a T/C polymorphism of SNP rs2071473, which we have previously shown is an eQTL for TAP2 and significantly associated with fecundability (time to pregnancy). We replicated the association between the rs2071473 genotype and TAP2 expression by using GTEx data and demonstrated that TAP2 is expressed by decidual stromal cells at the maternal-fetal interface. Next, we showed that rs2071473 is located within a progesterone-responsive cis-regulatory element that functions as a repressor with the T allele and an enhancer with the C allele. Remarkably, we found that this polymorphism arose before the divergence of modern and archaic humans, segregates at intermediate to high frequencies across human populations, and has genetic signatures of long-term balancing selection. This variant has also previously been identified in genome-wide association studies of immune-related disease, suggesting that both alleles are maintained as a result of antagonistic pleiotropy.

SUBMITTER: Mika KM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5097936 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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