Evolution of the Vertebrate Gene Regulatory Network Controlled by the Transcriptional Repressor REST

Rory Johnson, et al., Evolution of the Vertebrate Gene Regulatory Network Controlled by the Transcriptional Repressor REST, Mol Biol Evol (2009) 26 (7): 1491-1507

We show that one-third of human RE1s are unique to primates: These sites recruit REST in vivo, target neural genes, and are under purifying evolutionary selection We observe a consistent and significant trend for more ancient RE1s to have higher affinity for REST than lineage-specific sites and to be more proximal to garget genes. Our results lead us to propose a model where new transcription factor binding sites are constantly generated throughout the genome; thereafter refinement of their sequence and location consolidates this remodeling of networks governing neural gene regulation.

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