Journal Article

Evolution of Neuronal and Endothelial Transcriptomes in Primates

Thomas Giger, Philipp Khaitovich, Mehmet Somel, Anna Lorenc, Esther Lizano, Laura W. Harris, Margaret M. Ryan, Martin Lan, Matthew T. Wayland, Sabine Bahn and Svante Pääbo

in Genome Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 2, issue , pages 284-292
Published in print January 2010 |
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1759-6653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evq018

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The study of gene expression evolution in vertebrates has hitherto focused on the analysis of transcriptomes in tissues of different species. However, because a tissue is made up of different cell types, and cell types differ with respect to their transcriptomes, the analysis of tissues offers a composite picture of transcriptome evolution. The isolation of individual cells from tissue sections opens up the opportunity to study gene expression evolution at the cell type level. We have stained neurons and endothelial cells in human brains by antibodies against cell type-specific marker proteins, isolated the cells using laser capture microdissection, and identified genes preferentially expressed in the two cell types. We analyze these two classes of genes with respect to their expression in 62 different human tissues, with respect to their expression in 44 human “postmortem” brains from different developmental stages and with respect to between-species brain expression differences. We find that genes preferentially expressed in neurons differ less across tissues and developmental stages than genes preferentially expressed in endothelial cells. We also observe less expression differences within primate species for neuronal transcriptomes. In stark contrast, we see more gene expression differences between humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques relative to within-species differences in genes expressed preferentially in neurons than in genes expressed in endothelial cells. This suggests that neuronal and endothelial transcriptomes evolve at different rates within brain tissue.

Keywords: transcriptomics; neuron; evolution; brain; evo-devo; primate

Journal Article.  5155 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Genetics and Genomics

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