Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Rep. 2015 Feb 3;10(4):551-61. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.052. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Ancient transposable elements transformed the uterine regulatory landscape and transcriptome during the evolution of mammalian pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Human Genetics, The University of Chicago, 920 East 58(th) Street, CLSC 319C, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Electronic address: vjlynch@uchicago.edu.
2
Yale Systems Biology Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
3
Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
4
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
5
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
6
The Robinson Institute, School of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
7
Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor Lynen Strasse 25, 81377 Munich, Germany.
8
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27705, USA.
9
Department of Human Genetics, The University of Chicago, 920 East 58(th) Street, CLSC 319C, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
10
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

A major challenge in biology is determining how evolutionarily novel characters originate; however, mechanistic explanations for the origin of new characters are almost completely unknown. The evolution of pregnancy is an excellent system in which to study the origin of novelties because mammals preserve stages in the transition from egg laying to live birth. To determine the molecular bases of this transition, we characterized the pregnant/gravid uterine transcriptome from tetrapods to trace the evolutionary history of uterine gene expression. We show that thousands of genes evolved endometrial expression during the origins of mammalian pregnancy, including genes that mediate maternal-fetal communication and immunotolerance. Furthermore, thousands of cis-regulatory elements that mediate decidualization and cell-type identity in decidualized stromal cells are derived from ancient mammalian transposable elements (TEs). Our results indicate that one of the defining mammalian novelties evolved from DNA sequences derived from ancient mammalian TEs co-opted into hormone-responsive regulatory elements distributed throughout the genome.

PMID:
25640180
PMCID:
PMC4447085
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.052
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center