Tag Archives: chimpanzee

Many receive advice, few profit by it

The AJHG preprint server has an important paper about the effect of rare missense alleles. By combining information from HGMD, human – chimpanzee divergence and 4 other datasets (NIEHS-EGP, Seattle SNPs, JSNP and a resequencing approach of 58 genes in >1,500 chromosomes) they attack the Chakravarti hypothesis of “common diseases – commmon variants”

It remains uncertain why such polymorphisms can persist without being eliminated by purifying selection. Currently, two major lines of reasoning exist that explain this apparent paradox. The first considers various complex evolutionary scenarios and treats positive or balancing selection as a major force that can drive medically detrimental mutations to high frequencies. The second line of reasoning postulates a high mutation rate as a major factor that determines the cumulative frequency of detrimental polymorphisms in the population.

Anyway, here is the main outcome


I am detailing in a forthcoming paper in “Allergy”, that the contradicting results found with ADAM33 (the first positionally cloned asthma gene) probably results from a rather poor design of all follow-up studies.
It does not make so much sense to repeat over and over the same few SNP marker; instead a full resquencing of the linkage region would be necessary. From the analysis of public LD maps it is even possible that neighboring genes may be responsible for the observed associations.
I have also doubts if the SNP-centric view is always leading to success. BTW there is a new database of over 400,000 non-reduandt indels of which 280,000 are validated by comparison with other human or chimpanzee genomes (see Mills et al., the indels are available in dbSNP under the “Devine_lab” handle).