5 years ago

Diverse cis-regulatory mechanisms contribute to expression evolution of tandem gene duplicates.

Tanaka, Santos, Roch, Tempesta, Baudouin-Gonzalez, Sucena
Pairs of duplicated genes generally display a combination of conserved expression patterns inherited from their unduplicated ancestor and newly acquired domains. However, how the cis-regulatory architecture of duplicated loci evolves to produce these expression patterns is poorly understood. We have directly examined the gene-regulatory evolution of two tandem duplicates, the Drosophila Ly6 genes CG9336 and CG9338, which arose at the base of the drosophilids between 40 and 60 million years ago. Comparing the expression patterns of the two paralogs in four Drosophila species with that of the unduplicated ortholog in the tephritid Ceratitis capitata, we show that they diverged from each other as well as from the unduplicated ortholog. Moreover, the expression divergence appears to have occurred close to the duplication event and also more recently in a lineage-specific manner. The comparison of the tissue-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) controlling the paralog expression in the four Drosophila species indicates that diverse cis-regulatory mechanisms, including the novel tissue-specific enhancers, differential inactivation, and enhancer sharing, contributed to the expression evolution. Our analysis also reveals a surprisingly variable cis-regulatory architecture, in which the CRMs driving conserved expression domains change in number, location, and specificity. Altogether, this study provides a detailed historical account that uncovers a highly dynamic picture of how the paralog expression patterns and their underlying cis-regulatory landscape evolve. We argue that our findings will encourage studying cis-regulatory evolution at the whole-locus level in order to understand how interactions between enhancers and other regulatory levels shape the evolution of gene expression.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msx237

DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msx237

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