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© Research
Publication : Human molecular genetics

Evolution of the DAZ gene family suggests that Y-linked DAZ plays little, or a limited, role in spermatogenesis but underlines a recent African origin for human populations

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Human molecular genetics - 01 Sep 1998

Agulnik AI, Zharkikh A, Boettger-Tong H, Bourgeron T, McElreavey K, Bishop CE

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9700189

Hum. Mol. Genet. 1998 Sep;7(9):1371-7

The recent transposition to the Y chromosome of the autosomal DAZL1 gene, potentially involved in germ cell development, created a unique opportunity to study the rate of Y chromosome evolution and assess the selective forces that may act upon such genes, and provided a new estimate of the male-to-female mutation rate (alpham). Two different Y-located DAZ sequences were observed in all Old World monkeys, apes and humans. Different DAZ copies originate from independent amplification events in each primate lineage. A comparison of autosomal DAZL1 and Y-linked DAZ intron sequences gave a new figure for male-to-female mutation rates of alpham = 4. It was found that human DAZ exons and introns are evolving at the same rate, implying neutral genetic drift and the absence of any functional selective pressures. We therefore hypothesize that Y-linked DAZ plays little, or a limited, role in human spermatogenesis. The two copies of DAZ in man appear to be due to a relatively recent duplication event (55 000-200 000 years). A worldwide survey of 67 men from five continents representing 19 distinct populations showed that most males have both DAZ variants. This implies a common origin for the Y chromosome consistent with a recent ‘out of Africa’ origin of the human race.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9700189