Mutations in any genome may lead to phenotype characteristics that determine ability of an individual to cope with adaptation to environmental challenges. In studies of human biology, among the most interesting ones are phenotype characteristics that determine responses to drug treatments, response to infections, or predisposition to specific inherited diseases. Most of the research in this field has been focused on the studies of mutation effects on the final gene products, peptides, and their alterations. Considerably less attention was given to the mutations that may affect regulatory mechanism(s) of gene expression, although these may also affect the phenotype characteristics. In this study we make a pilot analysis of mutations observed in the regulatory regions of 24,667 human RefSeq genes. Our study reveals that out of eight studied mutation types, insertions are the only one that in a statistically significant manner alters predicted transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs). We also find that 25 families of TFBSs have been altered by mutations in a statistically significant manner in the promoter regions we considered. Moreover, we find that the related transcription factors are, for example, prominent in processes related to intracellular signaling; cell fate; morphogenesis of organs and epithelium; development of urogenital system, epithelium, and tube; neuron fate commitment. Our study highlights the significance of studying mutations within the genes regulatory regions and opens way for further detailed investigations on this topic, particularly on the downstream affected pathways. 2012 Kamanu, Medvedeva, Schaefer, Jankovic, Archer and Bajic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine