Divergent origins and concerted expansion of two segmental duplications on chromosome 16

J Hered. 2001 Nov-Dec;92(6):462-8. doi: 10.1093/jhered/92.6.462.


An unexpected finding of the human genome was the large fraction of the genome organized as blocks of interspersed duplicated sequence. We provide a comparative and phylogenetic analysis of a highly duplicated region of 16p12.2, which is composed of at least four different segmental duplications spanning in excess of 160 kb. We contrast the dispersal of two different segmental duplications (LCR16a and LCR16u). LCR16a, a 20 kb low-copy repeat sequence A from chromosome 16, was shown previously to contain a rapidly evolving novel hominoid gene family (morpheus) that had expanded within the last 10 million years of great ape/human evolution. We compare the dispersal of this genomic segment with a second adjacent duplication called LCR16u. The duplication contains a second putative gene family (KIAA0220/SMG1) that is represented approximately eight times within the human genome. A high degree of sequence identity (approximately 98%) was observed among the various copies of LCR16u. Comparative analyses with Old World monkey species show that LCR16a and LCR16u originated from two distinct ancestral loci. Within the human genome, at least 70% of the LCR16u copies were duplicated in concert with the LCR16a duplication. In contrast, only 30% of the chimpanzee loci show an association between LCR16a and LCR16u duplications. The data suggest that the two copies of genomic sequence were brought together during the chimpanzee/human divergence and were subsequently duplicated as a larger cassette specifically within the human lineage. The evolutionary history of these two chromosome-specific duplications supports a model of rapid expansion and evolutionary turnover among the genomes of man and the great apes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 16 / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA