Cell biology News

Mouse male chromosome very different from ours

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… it turns out

From Cell:

We sequenced the MSY (male-specific region of the Y chromosome) of the C57BL/6J strain of the laboratory mouse Mus musculus. In contrast to theories that Y chromosomes are heterochromatic and gene poor, the mouse MSY is 99.9% euchromatic and contains about 700 protein-coding genes. Only 2% of the MSY derives from the ancestral autosomes that gave rise to the mammalian sex chromosomes. Instead, all but 45 of the MSY’s genes belong to three acquired, massively amplified gene families that have no homologs on primate MSYs but do have acquired, amplified homologs on the mouse X chromosome. The complete mouse MSY sequence brings to light dramatic forces in sex chromosome evolution: lineage-specific convergent acquisition and amplification of X-Y gene families, possibly fueled by antagonism between acquired X-Y homologs. The mouse MSY sequence presents opportunities for experimental studies of a sex-specific chromosome in its entirety, in a genetically tractable model organism. (paywall)

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2 Replies to “Mouse male chromosome very different from ours

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    Instead, all but 45 of the MSY’s genes belong to three acquired, massively amplified gene families that have no homologs on primate MSYs but do have acquired, amplified homologs on the mouse X chromosome.

    I have no idea what this all means, but it seems like the old idiom “Are you a man or a mouse?” has more meaning now than ever.

  2. 2
    awstar says:

    Rather than snakes evolving from a lizard ancestor to a more simplified body form, the researchers say their findings suggest other animals gained more complex vertebral columns as they evolved.

    Evolution theory says some animals gain complexity and some animals lose complexity.

    Where is the information value in that? It’s like saying “it’s raining outside and not raining outside”

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