|Title||Evolution of the human-specific microRNA miR-941.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Hu, H, He, L, Fominykh, K, Yan, Z, Guo, S, Zhang, X, Taylor, MS, Tang, L, Li, J, Liu, J, Wang, W, Yu, H, Khaitovich, P|
|Date Published||2012 Oct 23|
|Keywords||brain, brain function, gene expression, gene regulation, micro-RNA|
MicroRNA-mediated gene regulation is important in many physiological processes. Here we explore the roles of a microRNA, miR-941, in human evolution. We find that miR-941 emerged de novo in the human lineage, between six and one million years ago, from an evolutionarily volatile tandem repeat sequence. Its copy-number remains polymorphic in humans and shows a trend for decreasing copy-number with migration out of Africa. Emergence of miR-941 was accompanied by accelerated loss of miR-941-binding sites, presumably to escape regulation. We further show that miR-941 is highly expressed in pluripotent cells, repressed upon differentiation and preferentially targets genes in hedgehog- and insulin-signalling pathways, thus suggesting roles in cellular differentiation. Human-specific effects of miR-941 regulation are detectable in the brain and affect genes involved in neurotransmitter signalling. Taken together, these results implicate miR-941 in human evolution, and provide an example of rapid regulatory evolution in the human linage.
|Alternate Journal||Nat Commun|
Evolution of the human-specific microRNA miR-941.
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