Edinburgh Research Explorer

Evolution of the human-specific microRNA miR-941

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Hai Yang Hu
  • Liu He
  • Kseniya Fominykh
  • Zheng Yan
  • Song Guo
  • Xiaoyu Zhang
  • Martin S Taylor
  • Lin Tang
  • Jie Li
  • Jianmei Liu
  • Wen Wang
  • Haijing Yu
  • Philipp Khaitovich

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Access status

Open

Documents

  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

    Final published version, 3 MB, PDF-document

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n10/full/ncomms2146.html
Original languageEnglish
Article number1145
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume3
Issue numbern/a
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Abstract

MicroRNA-mediated gene regulation is important in many physiological processes. Here we explore the roles of a microRNA, miR-941, in human evolution. We find that miR-941 emerged de novo in the human lineage, between six and one million years ago, from an evolutionarily volatile tandem repeat sequence. Its copy-number remains polymorphic in humans and shows a trend for decreasing copy-number with migration out of Africa. Emergence of miR-941 was accompanied by accelerated loss of miR-941-binding sites, presumably to escape regulation. We further show that miR-941 is highly expressed in pluripotent cells, repressed upon differentiation and preferentially targets genes in hedgehog- and insulin-signalling pathways, thus suggesting roles in cellular differentiation. Human-specific effects of miR-941 regulation are detectable in the brain and affect genes involved in neurotransmitter signalling. Taken together, these results implicate miR-941 in human evolution, and provide an example of rapid regulatory evolution in the human linage.

Research areas

  • Biological sciences, Evolution, Molecular Biology

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 5302632