The burden of deleterious variants in a non-human primate biomedical model
Anna J. Jasinska,
Matthew J. Jorgensen,
Jay Ross Kaplan,
J. Mark Cline,
Susan K Service,
Richard K Wilson,
Nelson B. Freimer,
Wesley C. Warren
Posted 26 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/784132
Posted 26 Sep 2019
Genome sequencing studies of nonhuman primate (NHP) pedigree and population samples are discovering variants on a large and rapidly growing scale. These studies are increasing the utility of several NHP species as model systems for human disease. In particular, by identifying homozygous protein truncating variants (hPTVs) in genes hypothesized to play a role in causing human diseases, it may be possible to elucidate mechanisms for the phenotypic impact of such variants through investigations that are infeasible in humans. The Caribbean vervet ( Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus ) is uniquely valuable for this purpose, as the dramatic expansion of its population following severe bottlenecks has enabled PTVs that passed through the bottleneck to attain a relatively high frequency. Using whole genome sequence (WGS) data from 719 monkeys of the Vervet Research Colony (VRC) extended pedigree, we found 2,802 protein-truncating alleles in 1,747 protein-coding genes present in homozygous state in at least one monkey. Polymorphic sites for 923 SNV hPTVs were also observed in natural Caribbean populations from which the VRC descends. The vervet genome browser (VGB) includes information on these PTVs, together with a catalog of phenotypes and biological samples available for monkeys who carry them. We describe initial explorations of the possible impact of vervet PTVs on early infant mortality.
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