Of mice and men

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Science  17 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6232, pp. 299
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6232.299-a

Selection has shaped immune responses differently in humans and mice


Species undergo different selective forces, and those that drive immunity are of special interest because they may affect studies of human health. Webb et al. investigated the differences between human and mouse for 456 protein-coding gene families involved in innate immunity. Of these, 2 genes in humans and 35 genes in mice exhibited signatures of positive selection. Examining the evolutionary distance between mice and humans, they further identified many genes likely to be under positive selection in the primate and murid lineages. These changes, for the most part, appear to have been fixed within humans and mice, respectively, demonstrating the different evolutionary trajectories that immune genes have taken during evolution.

Mol. Biol. Evol. 10.1093/molbev/msv051 (2015).

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