A human dimorphism resulting from loss of an Alu.

TitleA human dimorphism resulting from loss of an Alu.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsEdwards, MC, Gibbs, RA
Date Published1992 Nov
KeywordsAnimals, Base Sequence, Blotting, Southern, CD4 Antigens, DNA, Genetic Linkage, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Papio, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Genetic, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Retroviruses, Simian, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid

The molecular phylogeny of Alu and other repeated sequences in the human genome provides clues to events during primate evolution. A subclass of human Alu's has been previously identified as dimorphic insertions within members of the medium reiteration frequency (mer) class of repeats, reflecting the complicated sequence of insertion and radiation events leading to the current human genome structure. One dimorphic Alu is located within a previously unidentified mer family member, in the first intron of the human T4 (CD4) gene. The insertion (Alu+ allele) has a frequency of approximately 70% in Europeans and Africans and is homozygous in 20 Asian samples. Polymerase chain reaction amplification, direct DNA sequencing, and Southern analysis using oligonucleotide probes revealed that the Alu- allele was derived from the Alu+ allele by loss of part of the inserted sequence. Comparison with a tightly linked marker within the human genome and studies of baboon DNA samples revealed that the original insertion was a relatively early event in primate evolution, but that the Alu sequence loss leading to the dimorphism has occurred much more recently. Loss of Alu insertions therefore represents one mechanism for the generation of human Alu dimorphisms.

Alternate JournalGenomics
PubMed ID1330888
Grant ListRR06404 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
U01 A130243 / / PHS HHS / United States