Science2014-06-13 4:29 PM

你从哪儿得来全新的基因? Origin and Spread of de Novo Genes in Drosophila melanogaster Populations

论文摘要 

有的时候,一段非编码DNA序列可产生一个独特、新的(初治)基因,它起着其自身特殊的可能会帮助塑造该物种的作用。但在此之前,研究人员还一直不太了解这一过程是如何进行的。Li Zhao及其同事将先前未经描述的黑腹果蝇——即普通果蝇——株的睾丸转录组——即雄性性腺中的全套的RNA分子——与可公开获得的有关其它黑腹果蝇株的数据进行了比较。他们在近交果蝇株中确定了在其它果蝇株中非基因的或无功能的106个固定的及146个多态性初始基因--但其显示了与在果蝇转录组的等同区域内的基因含量的类似性。研究人员进一步地分析了这些候选初始基因以揭示它们可能是通过受到自然选择压力而驱动的先祖的、未表达的开放阅读框的复活而形成的。因此,看来这些自发形成蛋白的先前非编码DNA序列的演化和选择或为一种重要的基因新颖性的生成器。鉴于他们的发现,Zhao及其他的研究人员提出,科学家们如果没有一些有关在该物种中的这些初始基因组成的知识将甚至无法辨认某一生物体的生物学重要属性。

Abstract 

Comparative genomic analyses have revealed that genes may arise from ancestrally nongenic sequence. However, the origin and spread of these de novo genes within populations remain obscure. We identified 142 segregating and 106 fixed testis-expressed de novo genes in a population sample of Drosophila melanogaster. These genes appear to derive primarily from ancestral intergenic, unexpressed open reading frames, with natural selection playing a significant role in their spread. These results reveal a heretofore unappreciated dynamism of gene content.

Editor's Summary

Losses and Gains

In order to better understand the process by which de novo genes originate, Zhao et al. (p. 769, published online 23 January) examined testis-based gene expression among Drosophila melanogaster strains and identified both fixed and polymorphic de novo genes. The results suggest that spontaneous activation of previously noncoding DNA may be an important factor in generating genetic novelty.

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