Evidence for purifying selection acting on silent sites in BRCA1

L D Hurst, C Pal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In mammals, it is usually assumed that selection cannot be strong enough to act on nucleotide mutations that do not cause a change at the protein level (i.e. 'silent' or 'synonymous' mutations). Here we report the results of a molecular evolutionary analysis of BRCA1. We find a repeatable pronounced peak in the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions between codons 200-300. Unusually,this peak is caused by a plummet in the silent-site rate of evolution. The most parsimonious interpretation of these data is that purifying selection is acting on silent sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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