SERF1A (Small EDRK-rich factor 1A)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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Small EDRK-rich factor 1A (SERF1A) is involved in protein aggregation. SERF1A copies are found within a 500kb 15q13 inverted duplication region that is highly prone to rearrangements and deletions. Although its exact function is unknown, it has been hypothesized to have an important role in the formation of proteotoxicity diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. Humans have 1-3 more copies of SERF1A than any other primate, although the significance of these copies is unknown.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Probable Appearance: 
2,000 thousand years ago
Definite Appearance: 
6,000 thousand years ago
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Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Gene Symbol Type of Human-Specific Changes
SERF1A Copy Number Changes


  1. Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes., Sudmant, Peter H., Kitzman Jacob O., Antonacci Francesca, Alkan Can, Malig Maika, Tsalenko Anya, Sampas Nick, Bruhn Laurakay, Shendure Jay, and Eichler Evan E. , Science, 10/2010, Volume 330, Issue 6004, p.641-6, (2010)
  2. Identification of MOAG-4/SERF as a regulator of age-related proteotoxicity., van Ham, Tjakko J., Holmberg Mats A., van der Goot Annemieke T., Teuling Eva, Garcia-Arencibia Moises, Kim Hyun-eui, Du Deguo, Thijssen Karen L., Wiersma Marit, Burggraaff Rogier, et al. , Cell, 08/2010, Volume 142, Issue 4, p.601-12, (2010)