The potential role of gene duplications in the evolution of imprinting mechanisms

  • Walter J
  • Paulsen M
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Using the completed genomic sequences of mouse and human we performed a comparative analyses of imprinted genes and gene clusters. For many imprinted genes we could detect imprinted as well as non-imprinted paralogues. The inter- and intrachromosomal similarities between paralogues and their linkage to imprinting clusters suggests that imprinted genes were dispersed throughout the genome by gene duplications as well as translocation and transposition events. Our findings indicate that imprinting clusters may have been linked together on one (or a few) ancestral pre-imprinted chromosome(s), arguing for a common mechanistic origin of imprinting control. Imprinting may originally have evolved on a simple basis of dosage compensation required for some duplicated genes (chromosomes) followed by selection of sex-biased expression control.

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  • J. Walter

  • M. Paulsen

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