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J Mol Evol. 1988;27(4):311-20.

The compositional distribution of coding sequences and DNA molecules in humans and murids.

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Laboratoire de Biométrie, U.A. 243, Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, France.


The compositional distributions of coding sequences and DNA molecules (in the 50-100-kb range) are remarkably narrower in murids (rat and mouse) compared to humans (as well as to all other mammals explored so far). In murids, both distributions begin at higher and end at lower GC values. A comparison of homologous coding sequences from murids and humans revealed that their different compositional distributions are due to differences in GC levels in all three codon positions, particularly of genes located at both ends of the distribution. In turn, these differences are responsible for differences in both codon usage and amino acids. When GC levels at first + second codon positions and third codon positions, respectively, of murid genes are plotted against corresponding GC levels of homologous human genes, linear relationships (with very high correlation coefficients and slopes of about 0.78 and 0.60, respectively) are found. This indicates a conservation of the order of GC levels in homologous genes from humans and murids. (The same comparison for mouse and rat genes indicates a conservation of GC levels of homologous genes.) A similar linear relationship was observed when plotting GC levels of corresponding DNA fractions (as obtained by density gradient centrifugation in the presence of a sequence-specific ligand) from mouse and human. These findings indicate that orderly compositional changes affecting not only coding sequences but also noncoding sequences took place since the divergence of murids. Such directional fixations of mutations point to the existence of selective pressures affecting the genome as a whole.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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