The effect of transposable element insertions on gene expression evolution in Rodents

Vini Pereira, David Enard, Adam Eyre-Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Many genomes contain a substantial number of transposable elements (TEs), a few of which are known to be involved in regulating gene expression. However, recent observations suggest that TEs may have played a very important role in the evolution of gene expression because many conserved non-genic sequences, some of which are know to be involved in gene regulation, resemble TEs. Results: Here we investigate whether new TE insertions affect gene expression profiles by testing whether gene expression divergence between mouse and rat is correlated to the numbers of new transposable elements inserted near genes. We show that expression divergence is significantly correlated to the number of new LTR and SINE elements, but not to the numbers of LINEs. We also show that expression divergence is not significantly correlated to the numbers of ancestral TEs in most cases, which suggests that the correlations between expression divergence and the numbers of new TEs are causal in nature. We quantify the effect and estimate that TE insertion has accounted for ∼20% (95% confidence interval: 12% to 26%) of all expression profile divergence in rodents. Conclusions: We conclude that TE insertions may have had a major impact on the evolution of gene expression levels in rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4321
JournalPloS one
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of transposable element insertions on gene expression evolution in Rodents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this