Coordinated genome-wide modifications within proximal promoter cis-regulatory elements during vertebrate evolution.


Journal Article

There often exists a "one-to-many" relationship between a transcription factor and a multitude of binding sites throughout the genome. It is commonly assumed that transcription factor binding motifs remain largely static over the course of evolution because changes in binding specificity can alter the interactions with potentially hundreds of sites across the genome. Focusing on regulatory motifs overrepresented at specific locations within or near the promoter, we find that a surprisingly large number of cis-regulatory elements have been subject to coordinated genome-wide modifications during vertebrate evolution, such that the motif frequency changes on a single branch of vertebrate phylogeny. This was found to be the case even between closely related mammal species, with nearly a third of all location-specific consensus motifs exhibiting significant modifications within the human or mouse lineage since their divergence. Many of these modifications are likely to be compensatory changes throughout the genome following changes in protein factor binding affinities, whereas others may be due to changes in mutation rates or effective population size. The likelihood that this happened many times during vertebrate evolution highlights the need to examine additional taxa and to understand the evolutionary and molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of protein-DNA interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yokoyama, KD; Thorne, JL; Wray, GA

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

Start / End Page

  • 66 - 74

PubMed ID

  • 21118975

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21118975

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1759-6653

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1759-6653

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/gbe/evq078


  • eng