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BACKGROUND It has been shown in a variety of organisms, including mammals, that genes that appeared recently in evolution, for example orphan genes, evolve faster than older genes. Low functional constraints at the time of origin of novel genes may explain these results. However, this observation has been recently attributed to an artifact caused by the(More)
Single amino acid repeats are prevalent in eukaryote organisms, although the role of many such sequences is still poorly understood. We have performed a comprehensive analysis of the proteins containing homopolymeric histidine tracts in the human genome and identified 86 human proteins that contain stretches of five or more histidines. Most of them are(More)
BACKGROUND Model organisms have contributed substantially to our understanding of the etiology of human disease as well as having assisted with the development of new treatment modalities. The availability of the human, mouse and, most recently, the rat genome sequences now permit the comprehensive investigation of the rodent orthologs of genes associated(More)
BACKGROUND Understanding the constraints that operate in mammalian gene promoter sequences is of key importance to understand the evolution of gene regulatory networks. The level of promoter conservation varies greatly across orthologous genes, denoting differences in the strength of the evolutionary constraints. Here we test the hypothesis that the number(More)
BACKGROUND Global analyses of human disease genes by computational methods have yielded important advances in the understanding of human diseases. Generally these studies have treated the group of disease genes uniformly, thus ignoring the type of disease-causing mutations (dominant or recessive). In this report we present a comprehensive study of the(More)
BACKGROUND The arrangement of regulatory motifs in gene promoters, or promoter architecture, is the result of mutation and selection processes that have operated over many millions of years. In mammals, tissue-specific transcriptional regulation is related to the presence of specific protein-interacting DNA motifs in gene promoters. However, little is known(More)
The recent increase in human polymorphism data, together with the availability of genome sequences from several primate species, provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate how natural selection has shaped human evolution. We compared human branch-specific substitutions with variation data in the current human population to measure the impact of(More)
BACKGROUND Amino acid tandem repeats are found in nearly one-fifth of human proteins. Abnormal expansion of these regions is associated with several human disorders. To gain further insight into the mutational mechanisms that operate in this type of sequence, we have analyzed a large number of mutation variants derived from human expressed sequence tags(More)
Large-scale evolutionary studies often require the automated construction of alignments of a large number of homologous gene families. The majority of eukaryotic genes can produce different transcripts due to alternative splicing or transcription initiation, and many such transcripts encode different protein isoforms. As analyses tend to be gene centered,(More)
Low-complexity regions (LCRs) in proteins are tracts that are highly enriched in one or a few amino acids. Given their high abundance, and their capacity to expand in relatively short periods of time through replication slippage, they can greatly contribute to increase protein sequence space and generate novel protein functions. However, little is known(More)