Retroposition of autosomal mRNA yielded testis-specific gene family on human Y chromosome


Most genes in the human NRY (non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome) can be assigned to one of two groups: X-homologous genes or testis-specific gene families with no obvious X-chromosomal homologues. The CDY genes have been localized to the human Y chromosome, and we report here that they are derivatives of a conventional single-copy gene, CDYL (CDY-like), located on human chromosome 13 and mouse chromosome 6. CDY genes retain CDYL exonic sequences but lack its introns. In mice, whose evolutionary lineage diverged before the appearance of the Y-linked derivatives, the autosomal Cdyl gene produces two transcripts; one is expressed ubiquitously and the other is expressed in testes only. In humans, autosomal CDYL produces only the ubiquitous transcript; the testis-specific transcript is the province of the Y-borne CDY genes. Our data indicate that CDY genes arose during primate evolution by retroposition of a CDYL mRNA and amplification of the retroposed gene. Retroposition contributed to the gene content of the human Y chromosome, together with two other molecular evolutionary processes: persistence of a subset of genes shared with the X chromosome and transposition of genomic DNA harbouring intact transcription units.

DOI: 10.1038/9735

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@article{Lahn1999RetropositionOA, title={Retroposition of autosomal mRNA yielded testis-specific gene family on human Y chromosome}, author={Bruce T. Lahn and Don W Cleveland}, journal={Nature Genetics}, year={1999}, volume={22}, pages={209-209} }