Coordinated genome-wide modifications within proximal promoter cis-regulatory elements during vertebrate evolution.
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.
Yokoyama, KD; Thorne, JL; Wray, GA
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)