Distinctive structures between chimpanzee and human in a brain noncoding RNA.

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Beniaminov, A.; Westhof, E.; Krol, A.
Year of Publication: 2008
Journal: RNA
Volume: 14
Issue: 7
Pagination: 1270-5
Date Published: 2008 Jul
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1469-9001
Keywords: Animals, Base Sequence, Brain, Evolution, Molecular, Genome, Human, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Pan troglodytes, RNA, Untranslated

Human accelerated region 1 (HAR1) is a short DNA region identified recently to have evolved the most rapidly among highly constrained regions since the divergence from our common ancestor with chimpanzee. It is transcribed as part of a noncoding RNA specifically expressed in the developing human neocortex. Employing a panoply of enzymatic and chemical probes, our analysis of HAR1 RNA proposed a secondary structure model differing from that published. Most surprisingly, we discovered that the substitutions between the chimpanzee and human sequences led the human HAR1 RNA to adopt a cloverleaf-like structure instead of an extended and unstable hairpin in the chimpanzee sequence. Thus, the rapid evolutionary changes resulted in a profound rearrangement of HAR1 RNA structure. Altogether, our results provide a structural context for elucidating HAR1 RNA function.

DOI: 10.1261/rna.1054608
Alternate Journal: RNA
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