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Sex chromosomes and male functions: where do new genes go?
Publication types: Journal Article ; Review Publication Status: ppublish
The position of a gene in the genome may have important consequences for its function. Therefore, when a new duplicate gene arises, its location may be critical in determining its fate. Our recent work in humans, mouse, and Drosophila provided a test by studying the patterns of duplication in sex chromosome evolution. We revealed a bias in the generation and recruitment of new gene copies involving the X chromosome that has been shaped largely by selection for male germline functions. The gene movement patterns we observed reflect an ongoing process as some of the new genes are very young while others were present before the divergence of humans and mouse. This suggests a continuing redistribution of male-related genes to achieve a more efficient allocation of male functions. This notion should be further tested in organisms employing other sex determination systems or in organisms differing in germline sex chromosome inactivation. It is likely that the selective forces that were detected in these studies are also acting on other types of duplicate genes. As a result, future work elucidating sex chromosome differentiation by other mutational mechanisms will shed light on this important process.
Animals, Drosophila/embryology, Drosophila/genetics, Evolution, Molecular, Germ-Line Mutation/genetics, Humans, Male, Sex Determination (Genetics), Sex Differentiation/genetics, Spermatogenesis/genetics, X Chromosome/genetics, X Chromosome Inactivation/genetics
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