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The Diverging Routes of BORIS and CTCF: An Interactomic and Phylogenomic Analysis

Cologne Biocenter, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Straße 47a, 50674 Köln, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Origin of Genomes)
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The CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is multi-functional, ubiquitously expressed, and highly conserved from Drosophila to human. It has important roles in transcriptional insulation and the formation of a high-dimensional chromatin structure. CTCF has a paralog called “Brother of Regulator of Imprinted Sites” (BORIS) or “CTCF-like” (CTCFL). It binds DNA at sites similar to those of CTCF. However, the expression profiles of the two proteins are quite different. We investigated the evolutionary trajectories of the two proteins after the duplication event using a phylogenomic and interactomic approach. We find that CTCF has 52 direct interaction partners while CTCFL only has 19. Almost all interactors already existed before the emergence of CTCF and CTCFL. The unique secondary loss of CTCF from several nematodes is paralleled by a loss of two of its interactors, the polycomb repressive complex subunit SuZ12 and the multifunctional transcription factor TYY1. In contrast to earlier studies reporting the absence of BORIS from birds, we present evidence for a multigene synteny block containing CTCFL that is conserved in mammals, reptiles, and several species of birds, indicating that not the entire lineage of birds experienced a loss of CTCFL. Within this synteny block, BORIS and its genomic neighbors seem to be partitioned into two nested chromatin loops. The high expression of SPO11, RAE1, RBM38, and PMEPA1 in male tissues suggests a possible link between CTCFL, meiotic recombination, and fertility-associated phenotypes. Using the 65,700 exomes and the 1000 genomes data, we observed a higher number of intergenic, non-synonymous, and loss-of-function mutations in CTCFL than in CTCF, suggesting a reduced strength of purifying selection, perhaps due to less functional constraint. View Full-Text
Keywords: CTCF; gene duplication; chromatin loops; polymorphism; natural selection; Bilateria; Amniotes CTCF; gene duplication; chromatin loops; polymorphism; natural selection; Bilateria; Amniotes

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Jabbari, K.; Heger, P.; Sharma, R.; Wiehe, T. The Diverging Routes of BORIS and CTCF: An Interactomic and Phylogenomic Analysis. Life 2018, 8, 4.

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