Genome complexity: horizontal gene transfers (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Friday, March 13, 2015, 14:45 (1566 days ago) @ David Turell

It turns out WE are not entirely US. Horizontal gene transfers are found:

"A number of genes, including the ABO blood group gene, were confirmed as having been acquired by vertebrates through HGT. The majority of the other genes were related to enzymes involved in metabolism.

"In humans, they confirmed 17 previously-reported genes acquired from HGT, and identified 128 additional foreign genes in the human genome that have not previously been reported.

"Some of those genes were involved in lipid metabolism, including the breakdown of fatty acids and the formation of glycolipids. Others were involved in immune responses, including the inflammatory response, immune cell signalling, and antimicrobial responses, while further gene categories include amino-acid metabolism, protein modification and antioxidant activities.

"The team were able to identify the likely class of organisms the transferred genes came from. Bacteria and protists, another class of microorganisms, were the most common donors in all species studied. They also identified HGT from viruses, which was responsible for up to 50 more foreign genes in primates."

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