Evidence of Abundant Purifying Selection in Humans for Recently Acquired Regulatory Functions

December 6, 2013

Evidence of Abundant Purifying Selection in Humans for Recently Acquired Regulatory Functions
L Ward & M Kellis
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6102/1675.abs

In general we know that conservation across species and within humans are correlated. In this paper the authors focus on emphasize the exceptions to this trend. They show that although only ~5% of the human genome is conserved across mammals, regulatory regions in an additional 4% of the genomes are conserved amongst humans. They also show that some elements are conserved across mammals but lack functional activity from ENCODE data and also do not show purifying selection amongst humans. The authors pinpoint regulatory regions near color vision and nerve-growth genes for that show human-specific constraint. This has been criticized in various publications since there are other genes that are higher up in the authors’ list but harder to explain for lineage-specific constraint.

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