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A genomic study of the contribution of DNA methylation to regulatory evolution in primates

AuthorsRoux, Julien; Hernando-Herraez, Irene ; Banovich, Nick; García-Pérez, Raquel; Chavarria, Claudia; Mitrano, Amy; Pritchard, Jonathan; Marqués-Bonet, Tomàs ; Gilad, Yoav
Issue DateJul-2015
CitationAnnual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (2015)
AbstractA long-standing hypothesis is that changes in gene regulation play an important role in adaptive evolution, notably in primates. Yet, in spite of the evidence accumulated in the past decade that regulatory changes contribute to many species-specific adaptations, we still know remarkably little about the mechanisms of regulatory evolu tion. In this study we focused on DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism whose contribution to the evolution of gene expression remains unclear. To interrogate the methylation status of the vast majority of cytosines in the genome, we performed whole-genome bisulfite conversion followed by high-throughput sequencing across 4 tissues (heart, kidney, liver and lung) in 3 primate species (human, chimpanzee and macaque). In parallel, we collected gene expression profiles using RNA-seq from the same tissue sam ples, allowing us to perform a high resolution scan for genes and pathways whose regulation evolved under natural selection. We integrated these datasets to characterize better the genome features whose methylation status leads to expression changes, and we developed a statistical model to quantify the proportion of variation in gene expression levels across tissues and species. We discovered that, in contrast to the confirmed negative association between gene expression and methylation changes across tissu es, the correlation was greatly reduced across species. Our study questions the importance of epigenetic modifications as a mechanism causing regulatory changes and adaptations in primates.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la Annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE 2015), celebrado en Viena del 12 al 16 de julio de 2015.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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