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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Globin gene switching in primates.

Evolutionary approaches to the identification of DNA sequences required for transcription of the genes of the beta-globin cluster are reviewed. Sequence alignments of non-coding regions from widely divergent species revealed many conserved motifs (phylogenetic footprints) that were putative transcription factor binding sites and candidate binding proteins were identified. The differential timing of the prosimian and simian gamma-globin genes was analyzed by identifying base changes in the vicinity of the phylogenetic footprints. These differential phylogenetic footprints were shown to bind different nuclear factors, and the behavior of constructs with human or galago gamma-promoters in transgenic mice indicated that DNA motifs near the gamma-globin genes are sufficient to determine the developmental stage of expression. Locus control region alignments have identified many conserved sequence differences outside of the hypersensitive sites. Globin protein and mRNA expression profiles during embryological development in a series of catarrhine (Old World monkeys and apes) and platyrrhine (New World monkeys) primates have been determined. While all catarrhines examined to date have globin expression patterns that are highly similar to the well-established human switching behavior, platyrrhines have inactivated their gamma 1 genes by a variety of mechanisms, and have an earlier gamma-beta switch.[1]


  1. Globin gene switching in primates. Johnson, R.M., Gumucio, D., Goodman, M. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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