SIGLEC16 (sialic acid binding Ig-like lectin 16)

Certainty Style Key

Certainty styling is being phased out topic by topic.

Hover over keys for definitions:
True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference
Human Universality: 
Population Universal (Some Individuals Everywhere)
MOCA Domain: 
MOCA Topic Authors: 

Siglec-16 is a paired activating receptor with the inhibitory Siglec-11.  The two genes are found adjacent to each other, and a portion of the SIGLEC11 gene was converted by SIGLEC16, only in the human lineage.  While great apes all appear to have an intact SIGLEC16 gene, it is inactivated in the majority of humans.  The relevance of this polymorphic pseudogenization to humans is unknown, but it is interesting that the molecule is found in the microglia of the brain, which are involved in defense against brain-invading bacteria, and are also prominent in apparently human-specific diseases such as Alzheimer's diesease and AIDS-associated dementia. Studies suggest a complex series of gene conversion and pseudogenization evenst involving SIGLEC16 and SIGLEC11



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

Possible Appearance (Lineage Separation Event): 
Probable Appearance (Lineage Separation Event): 
Definite Appearance (Lineage Separation Event): 
Related MOCA Topics
Related Topics (hover over title for reason):
Referenced By:
Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Gene Symbol Type of Human-Specific Changes
SIGLEC16 Pseudogenization


  1. Evolution of siglec-11 and siglec-16 genes in hominins, Wang, X., Mitra N., Cruz P., Deng L., Program Nisc Comparativ, Varki Nissi M., Angata T., Green E. D., Mullikin J., Hayakawa T., et al. , Mol Biol Evol, Aug, Volume 29, Number 8, p.2073-86, (2012)