High Proportions of Deleterious Polymorphisms in Constrained Human Genes
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Previous studies on human mitochondrial genomes showed that the ratio of intra-specific diversities at nonsynonymousto-synonymous positions was two to ten times higher than the ratio of interspecific divergences at these positions,suggesting an excess of slightly deleterious nonsynonymous polymorphisms. However, such an overabundance of nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was not found in human nuclear genomes. Here, genome-wide estimates using .14,000 human-chimp nuclear genes and 1 million SNPs from four human genomes showed a significant proportion of deleterious nonsynonymous SNPs (;15%). Importantly, this study reveals a negative correlation between the magnitude of selection pressure and the proportion of deleterious SNPs on human genes. The proportion of deleterious amino acid replacement polymorphisms is 3.5 times higher in genes under high purifying selection compared with that in less constrained genes (28% vs. 8%). These results are explained by differences in the extent of contribution of mildly deleterious mutations to diversity and substitution.
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Molecular Biology and Evolution following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version High Proportions of Deleterious Polymorphisms in Constrained Human Genes, Molecular Biology and Evolution, (2011) 28 (1): 49-52 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msq287