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We report the generation and analysis of functional data from multiple, diverse experiments performed on a targeted 1% of the human genome as part of the pilot phase of the ENCODE Project. These data have been further integrated and augmented by a number of evolutionary and computational analyses. Together, our results advance the collective knowledge about(More)
Hox genes code for transcription factors that play a major role in the development of all animal phyla. In invertebrates these genes usually occur as tightly linked cluster, with a few exceptions where the clusters have been dissolved. Only in vertebrates multiple clusters have been demonstrated which arose by duplication from a single ancestral cluster.(More)
BACKGROUND MicroRNAs have been identified as crucial regulators in both animals and plants. Here we report on a comprehensive comparative study of all known miRNA families in animals. We expand the MicroRNA Registry 6.0 by more than 1000 new homologs of miRNA precursors whose expression has been verified in at least one species. Using this uniform data(More)
A plethora of new functions of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been discovered in past few years. In fact, RNA is emerging as the central player in cellular regulation, taking on active roles in multiple regulatory layers from transcription, RNA maturation, and RNA modification to translational regulation. Nevertheless, very little is known about the(More)
Evolutionarily conserved non-coding genomic sequences represent a potentially rich source for the discovery of gene regulatory regions. Since these elements are subject to stabilizing selection they evolve much more slowly than adjacent non-functional DNA. These so-called phylogenetic footprints can be detected by comparison of the sequences surrounding(More)
The analysis of the publicly available Hox gene sequences from the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus provides evidence that the Hox clusters in lampreys and other vertebrate species arose from independent duplications. In particular, our analysis supports the hypothesis that the last common ancestor of agnathans and gnathostomes had only a single Hox cluster(More)
The statistical analysis of phylogenetic footprints in the two known horn shark Hox clusters and the four mammalian clusters shows that the shark HoxN cluster is HoxD-like. This finding implies that the most recent common ancestor of jawed vertebrates had at least four Hox clusters, including those which are orthologous to the four mammalian Hox clusters.
Gene regulatory regions in non-coding genomic sequences are subject to stabilizing selection and therefore evolve much more slowly than adjacent non-functional DNA. The resulting phylogenetic footprints can be detected by comparison of the sequences surrounding orthologous genes in different species. Experimental evidence from a variety of sources shows(More)
Despite their homology and analogous function, the Hox gene clusters of vertebrates and invertebrates are subject to different constraints on their structural organization. This is demonstrated by a drastically different distribution of repetitive DNA elements in the Hox cluster regions. While gnathostomes have a strong tendency to exclude repetitive DNA(More)
In this study the molecular evolution of duplicated HoxA genes in zebrafish and fugu has been investigated. All 18 duplicated HoxA genes studied have a higher non-synonymous substitution rate than the corresponding genes in either bichir or paddlefish, where these genes are not duplicated. The higher rate of evolution is not due solely to a higher(More)