Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs) are nearly identical DNA sequences found at either end of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs). The high sequence similarity that exists among different LTRs suggests they could be substrate of ectopic gene conversion events. To understand the extent to which gene conversion occurs and to gain new insights into the evolutionary history of these elements in humans, we performed an intra-species phylogenetic study of 52 LTRs on different unrelated Y chromosomes. From this analysis, we obtained direct evidence that demonstrates the occurrence of ectopic gene conversion in several LTRs, with donor sequences located on both sex chromosomes and autosomes. We also found that some of these elements are characterized by an extremely high density of polymorphisms, showing one of the highest nucleotide diversities in the human genome, as well as a complex patchwork of sequences derived from different LTRs. Finally, we highlighted the limits of current short-read NGS studies in the analysis of genetic diversity of the LTRs in the human genome. In conclusion, our comparative re-sequencing analysis revealed that ectopic gene conversion is a common event in the evolution of LTR elements, suggesting complex genetic links among LTRs from different chromosomes.

Evidence of extensive non-allelic gene conversion among LTR elements in the human genome / Trombetta, Beniamino; Fantini, Gloria; D'Atanasio, Eugenia; Sellitto, Daniele; Cruciani, Fulvio. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 6:(2016). [10.1038/srep28710]

Evidence of extensive non-allelic gene conversion among LTR elements in the human genome

TROMBETTA, BENIAMINO;D'ATANASIO, EUGENIA;CRUCIANI, Fulvio
2016

Abstract

Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs) are nearly identical DNA sequences found at either end of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs). The high sequence similarity that exists among different LTRs suggests they could be substrate of ectopic gene conversion events. To understand the extent to which gene conversion occurs and to gain new insights into the evolutionary history of these elements in humans, we performed an intra-species phylogenetic study of 52 LTRs on different unrelated Y chromosomes. From this analysis, we obtained direct evidence that demonstrates the occurrence of ectopic gene conversion in several LTRs, with donor sequences located on both sex chromosomes and autosomes. We also found that some of these elements are characterized by an extremely high density of polymorphisms, showing one of the highest nucleotide diversities in the human genome, as well as a complex patchwork of sequences derived from different LTRs. Finally, we highlighted the limits of current short-read NGS studies in the analysis of genetic diversity of the LTRs in the human genome. In conclusion, our comparative re-sequencing analysis revealed that ectopic gene conversion is a common event in the evolution of LTR elements, suggesting complex genetic links among LTRs from different chromosomes.
2016
Multidisciplinary
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Evidence of extensive non-allelic gene conversion among LTR elements in the human genome / Trombetta, Beniamino; Fantini, Gloria; D'Atanasio, Eugenia; Sellitto, Daniele; Cruciani, Fulvio. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 6:(2016). [10.1038/srep28710]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/890922
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