Extensive Gene Traffic on the Mammalian X Chromosome

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Science  23 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5657, pp. 537-540
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090042

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Mammalian sex chromosomes have undergone profound changes since evolving from ancestral autosomes. By examining retroposed genes in the human and mouse genomes, we demonstrate that, during evolution, the mammalian X chromosome has generated and recruited a disproportionately high number of functional retroposed genes, whereas the autosomes experienced lower gene turnover. Most autosomal copies originating from X-linked genes exhibited testis-biased expression. Such export is incompatible with mutational bias and is likely driven by natural selection to attain male germline function. However, the excess recruitment is consistent with a combination of both natural selection and mutational bias.

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