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Pseudogenes in the mouse lineage: transcriptional activity and strain-specific history

By Cristina Sisu, Paul Muir, Adam Frankish, Ian Fiddes, Mark Diekhans, David Thybert, Duncan T Odom, Paul Flicek, Thomas Keane, Tim Hubbard, Jennifer Harrow, Mark Gerstein

Posted 07 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/386656

Pseudogenes are ideal markers of genome remodeling. In turn, the mouse is an ideal platform for studying them, particularly with the availability of developmental transcriptional data and the sequencing of 18 strains. Here, we present a comprehensive genome-wide annotation of the pseudogenes in the mouse reference genome and associated strains. We compiled this by combining manual curation of over 10,000 pseudogenes with results from automatic annotation pipelines. Also, by comparing the human and mouse, we annotated 165 unitary pseudogenes in mouse, and 303 unitaries in human. We make all our annotation available through mouse.pseudogene.org. The overall mouse pseudogene repertoire (in the reference and strains) is similar to human in terms of overall size, biotype distribution (~80% processed/~20% duplicated) and top family composition (with many GAPDH and ribosomal pseudogenes). However, notable differences arise in the pseudogene age distribution, with multiple retro-transpositional bursts in mouse evolutionary history and only one in human. Furthermore, in each strain about a fifth of the pseudogenes are unique, reflecting strain-specific functions and evolution. Additionally, we find that ~15% of the pseudogenes are transcribed, a fraction similar to that for human, and that pseudogene transcription exhibits greater tissue and strain specificity compared to protein-coding genes. Finally, we show that highly transcribed parent genes tend to give rise to processed pseudogenes.

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