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Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 8;5:4370. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5370.

Primate evolution of the recombination regulator PRDM9.

Author information

1
1] Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, 3720 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA [2].
2
Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, 3720 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA.

Abstract

The PRDM9 gene encodes a protein with a highly variable tandem-repeat zinc finger (ZF) DNA-binding domain that plays a key role in determining sequence-specific hotspots of meiotic recombination genome wide. Here we survey the diversity of the PRDM9 ZF domain by sequencing this region in 64 primates from 18 species, revealing 68 unique alleles across all groups. We report ubiquitous positive selection at nucleotide positions corresponding to DNA contact residues and the expansion of ZFs within clades, which confirms the rapid evolution of the ZF domain throughout the primate lineage. Alignment of Neandertal and Denisovan sequences suggests that PRDM9 in archaic hominins was closely related to present-day human alleles that are rare and specific to African populations. In the context of its role in reproduction, our results are consistent with variation in PRDM9 contributing to speciation events in primates.

PMID:
25001002
PMCID:
PMC4110516
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5370
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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