News from IBE
In this paper, Tomàs Marquès-Bonet and colleagues from the University of Zurich, Virginia Tech and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, made use of a novel algorithm to genotype Variable Tandem Repeats (VNTR) in a set of humans and great apes.
Tandem repeats are stretches of DNA that are highly variable in length and mutate rapidly, and thus are an important source of genetic variation. This variation is highly informative for population and conservation genetics, and has also been associated with several pathological conditions and with gene expression regulation.
The current study demonstrates that fixed and polymorphic differences in VNTR in the promoter regions of coding sequences show the highest differences in gene expression in different tissues. These findings highlight the potential contribution of TRs to human evolution through gene regulation.
Bilgin Sonay T, Carvalho T, Robinson M, Greminger M, Krutzen M, Comas D, Highnam G, Mittelman DA, Sharp AJ, Marques-Bonet T, Wagner A (2015). Tandem repeat variation in human and great ape populations and its impact on gene expression divergence. Genome Research