Human Transcriptome Evolution

Abstract

It has been a long‐standing hypothesis that evolution of the human transcriptome (the collection of all gene transcripts in a cell) may have contributed greatly to the observed human‐specific phenotypes. With recent advances in high throughput technologies and bioinformatic tools, it becomes possible to get deep understandings of this important issue. Here, we provided a brief but updated summary of the exciting findings in the study of human transcriptome evolution.

Keywords: transcriptome; genomic analysis; human evolution

Figure 1.

(a) Distance trees representing the relative extent of expression changes in brain and liver among three primates: Human, Chimpanzee (Chimp.) and Orangutan (Orang.). (b) Ratio of human‐lineage‐specific expression changes to chimpanzee‐lineage‐specific expression changes (LH/LC) in both brain and liver under different significance levels (alpha=0.05, 0.02, 0.01 and 0.001).

Figure 2.

Induction/repression (I/R) ratios for genes showing lineage‐specific expression patterns. (a) In the human brain and liver. The I/R ratio of brain‐expressed genes is statistically greater than one, whereas the I/R ratio of liver‐expressed genes is not significant. (b) In the chimpanzee brain and liver. The I/R ratios for both brain‐ and liver‐expressed genes are relatively similar, and sensitive, to the significance level.

Figure 3.

(a) Schematic illustration of gene expression variation among and between humans and chimpanzees in five tissues. Brain shows the smallest divergence and diversity. (b) Variation of human–mouse tissue expression distances (Eti) among 29 tissues. Abbreviations for these tissues are shown in parentheses.

Figure 4.

Correlations between tissue expression distance (Eti) and tissue protein distance (Dti) for highly expressed proteins (a) and for normally expressed proteins (b). (c) The correlation between tissue expression distance (Eti) and tissue duplicate distances (Tdup). Here, Tdup is the average of human and mouse duplicates.

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Bar‐Or C, Czosnek H and Koltai H (2007) Cross‐species microarray hybridizations: a developing tool for studying species diversity. Trends in Genetics 23: 200–207.

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Web Links

NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/geo/

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How to Cite close
Gu, Xun, and Huang, Yong(Jul 2008) Human Transcriptome Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020772]