July 19, 2019  |  

Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and chromosome 16p11.2 CNV susceptibility.

Authors: Nuttle, Xander and Giannuzzi, Giuliana and Duyzend, Michael H and Schraiber, Joshua G and Narvaiza, Iñigo and Sudmant, Peter H and Penn, Osnat and Chiatante, Giorgia and Malig, Maika and Huddleston, John and Benner, Chris and Camponeschi, Francesca and Ciofi-Baffoni, Simone and Stessman, Holly A F and Marchetto, Maria C N and Denman, Laura and Harshman, Lana and Baker, Carl and Raja, Archana and Penewit, Kelsi and Janke, Nicolette and Tang, W Joyce and Ventura, Mario and Banci, Lucia and Antonacci, Francesca and Akey, Joshua M and Amemiya, Chris T and Gage, Fred H and Reymond, Alexandre and Eichler, Evan E

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?

Journal: Nature
DOI: 10.1038/nature19075
Year: 2016

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