A test of the null model for 5 ' UTR evolution based on GC content

Reuter, Max, Engelstädter, Jan, Fontanillas, Pierre and Hurst, Laurence D. (2008) A test of the null model for 5 ' UTR evolution based on GC content. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25 5: 801-804. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn044

Author Reuter, Max
Engelstädter, Jan
Fontanillas, Pierre
Hurst, Laurence D.
Title A test of the null model for 5 ' UTR evolution based on GC content
Journal name Molecular Biology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0737-4038
Publication date 2008-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/molbev/msn044
Open Access Status
Volume 25
Issue 5
Start page 801
End page 804
Total pages 4
Place of publication Cary, NC, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Eukaryotic mRNAs are headed by a stretch of noncoding sequence, the 5′ untranslated region (UTR). It has been proposed that the length of 5′ UTRs is selectively neutral and evolves under a process of stochastic destruction and recruitment of core promoter elements, combined with selection against the premature initiation of translation. We test this null model by investigating whether 5′ UTR length varies with genomic GC content, an implicit prediction of the model. Using simulations, we show that the null model predicts a positive relationship between GC content and UTR length for genes regulated by a TATA box. Although this prediction is borne out qualitatively in genomic data from yeast, fruit flies, and humans, we find marked quantitative discrepancies. We conclude that UTR length may be shaped to some degree by the forces considered in the null model but that the model fails to provide a complete explanation for UTR length evolution.
Keyword UTR
TATA box
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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