Article

A HERV-K provirus in chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas, but not humans

Department of Molecular Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.
Current Biology (Impact Factor: 9.92). 06/2001; 11(10):779-83. DOI: 10.1016/S0960-9822(01)00227-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Evidence from DNA sequencing studies strongly indicated that humans and chimpanzees are more closely related to each other than either is to gorillas [1-4]. However, precise details of the nature of the evolutionary separation of the lineage leading to humans from those leading to the African great apes have remained uncertain. The unique insertion sites of endogenous retroviruses, like those of other transposable genetic elements, should be useful for resolving phylogenetic relationships among closely related species. We identified a human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) provirus that is present at the orthologous position in the gorilla and chimpanzee genomes, but not in the human genome. Humans contain an intact preintegration site at this locus. These observations provide very strong evidence that, for some fraction of the genome, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas are more closely related to each other than they are to humans. They also show that HERV-K replicated as a virus and reinfected the germline of the common ancestor of the four modern species during the period of time when the lineages were separating and demonstrate the utility of using HERV-K to trace human evolution.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Michael Jensen-Seaman, Jul 06, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
353 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There are more than 125 species of extant New World monkeys (Primates: Platyrrhini) found in approximately 15 genera. The phylogenetic relationships of these neotropical primates have been extensively studied from a molecular perspective. While these studies have been successful at inferring many of the relationships within the platyrrhines, key questions remain. The current study provides a framework for using non-genic, non-coding markers in comparative primate phylogenomic studies in species whose genomes are not yet scheduled for complete sequencing. A random genomic shotgun library was generated from the nocturnal Owl monkey Aotus lemurinus. Eleven unlinked, non-coding, non-genic, non-repetitive, nuclear DNA markers derived from this library were sequenced in at least one representative species of every platyrrhine genus. The combined sequence from these markers yielded a 7.7 kb multiple sequence alignment of 22 taxa. We analyzed these markers independently and combined with a 10 kb dataset consisting of "traditional," previously published markers located within or directly adjacent to genes. Parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis converged on a single topology for the platyrrhine generic relationships. Notably, we confidently inferred that Pitheciidae is the sister taxon to the other two platyrrhine families (Cebidae, Atelidae). This relationship is supported by high values of branch support as well as topology tests. Additionally, Aotus formed a sister taxon to a clade comprising Cebus and Saimiri. With a fully resolved platyrrhine phylogeny in place it is now possible to design and test hypotheses regarding the evolution and diversification of platyrrhine phenotypes and life histories.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 08/2009; 53(3):694-702. DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.07.019 · 4.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2007. The evolution of retroviral elements and their hosts is inextricably tied together throughout the animal kingdom. Retroviral elements selfishly unleash an onslaught of tactics to replicate themselves within host cells while the host must fight back with an arsenal of weaponry that has been honed over hundreds of millions of years to protect host genomes from invasion by these selfish retroviral elements. Host and virus are perpetually locked in this evolutionary arms race that leaves distinct footprints on both genomes that can be "read" using molecular evolution techniques. Here I present an in depth study of one such host gene, APOBEC3H, that has dutifully served its primate hosts to limit retroviral replication for millions of years. Most humans, however, have recently lost the services of this retroviral defense gene, leaving these individuals more susceptible to several retroviral pathogens with large current-day impacts on human health and evolution, including HIV-1, LINE-1 and Alu elements.