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Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent

Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent reveals a mutation hotspot around the ParaHox gene cluster

Date:
July 5, 2017
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
Sequencing the genome of the sand rat, a desert rodent susceptible to nutritionally induced diabetes, revealed an unusual chromosome region skewed toward G and C nucleotides. This region includes the Pdx1 homeobox gene, a transcriptional activator of insulin, which has undergone massive sequence change, likely contributing to diabetes and adaptation to low caloric intake, implying that mutation rate varies within a genome and that hotspots of high mutation rate may influence ecological adaptation and constraint.
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The sand rat Psammomys obesus is a gerbil species native to deserts of North Africa and the Middle East, and is constrained in its ecology because high carbohydrate diets induce obesity and type II diabetes that, in extreme cases, can lead to pancreatic failure and death. We report the sequencing of the sand rat genome and discovery of an unusual, extensive, and mutationally biased GC-rich genomic domain.

This highly divergent genomic region encompasses several functionally essential genes, and spans the ParaHox cluster which includes the insulin-regulating homeobox gene Pdx1. The sequence of sand rat Pdx1 has been grossly affected by GC-biased mutation, leading to the highest divergence observed for this gene across the Bilateria. In addition to genomic insights into restricted caloric intake in a desert species, the discovery of a localized chromosomal region subject to elevated mutation suggests that mutational heterogeneity within genomes could influence the course of evolution.


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Materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adam D. Hargreaves, Long Zhou, Josef Christensen, Ferdinand Marlétaz, Shiping Liu, Fang Li, Peter Gildsig Jansen, Enrico Spiga, Matilde Thye Hansen, Signe Vendelbo Horn Pedersen, Shameek Biswas, Kyle Serikawa, Brian A. Fox, William R. Taylor, John Frederick Mulley, Guojie Zhang, R. Scott Heller, Peter W. H. Holland. Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent reveals a mutation hotspot around the ParaHox gene cluster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201702930 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702930114

Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705095347.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2017, July 5). Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 14, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705095347.htm
University of Oxford. "Genome sequence of a diabetes-prone rodent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705095347.htm (accessed July 14, 2024).

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