High order formation and evolution of hornerin in primates

Vanessa Romero, Hirofumi Nakaoka, Kazuyoshi Hosomichi, Ituro Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Genomic duplication or loss can accelerate evolution because the number of repeats could affect molecular pathways and phenotypes. We have previously reported that the repeated region of filaggrin (FLG), a crucial component of the outer layers of mammalian skin, had high levels of nucleotide diversity with species-specific divergence and expansion and that it evolved under the birth-and-death model. We focused on hornerin (HRNR), a member of the same gene family that harbor similar tandem repeats as FLG, and examined the formation process of repeated regions and the evolutional model that best fit the HRNR repeated region in the crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), orangutan (Pongo abelii), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and compared them with the human (Homo sapiens) sequence. Paar et al. (2011) and Takaishi et al. (2005) have different theories as to the formation of the repeated region of HRNR; both groups share the longest repeat length of 1,404 bp (quartic or longest unit), but they differed in the process. We identified the formation described by Paar et al. {[(“39 bp (primary) 9” 2 (secondary)) 2 (tertiary)] 5 (quartic)} to be conserved in all species except the crab-eating macaque. We detected high nucleotide diversities between the longest repeats, which fits the birth- and-death model. We concluded that the high order repeat formation of HRNR was conserved in primates except the crab-eating macaque. As previously identified in FLG, the longest repeats have high levels of nucleotide diversity, which could contribute to phenotypic differences between closely related species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3167-3175
Number of pages9
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Birth-and-death model
  • Epidermal differentiation complex
  • HRNR
  • Hornerin
  • Primate
  • S100 fused type protein


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