staff

Christelle Vangenot

External collaborator in Anthropology & Pharmacogenomics

  • T: +41 22 379 69 61
  • office 4-421 (Sciences II)

External collaborator in Anthropology & Immunogenetics

  • T: +41 22 379 69 61
  • office 4-421 (Sciences II)
  • Variation in NAT2 acetylation phenotypes is associated with differences in food-producing subsistence modes and ecoregions in Africa. BMC Evol. Biol. 2015 ;15():263. 10.1186/s12862-015-0543-6. 10.1186/s12862-015-0543-6. PMC4665893.

    abstract

    Dietary changes associated to shifts in subsistence strategies during human evolution may have induced new selective pressures on phenotypes, as currently held for lactase persistence. Similar hypotheses exist for arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) mediated acetylation capacity, a well-known pharmacogenetic trait with wide inter-individual variation explained by polymorphisms in the NAT2 gene. The environmental causative factor (if any) driving its evolution is as yet unknown, but significant differences in prevalence of acetylation phenotypes are found between hunter-gatherer and food-producing populations, both in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide, and between agriculturalists and pastoralists in Central Asia. These two subsistence strategies also prevail among sympatric populations of the African Sahel, but knowledge on NAT2 variation among African pastoral nomads was up to now very scarce. Here we addressed the hypothesis of different selective pressures associated to the agriculturalist or pastoralist lifestyles having acted on the evolution of NAT2 by sequencing the gene in 287 individuals from five pastoralist and one agriculturalist Sahelian populations.

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  • Haplotype diversity generated by ancient recombination-like events in the MHC of Indian rhesus macaques. Immunogenetics 2013 Aug;65(8):569-84. 10.1007/s00251-013-0707-8. PMC3710572.

    abstract

    The Mamu-A, Mamu-B, and Mamu-DRB genes of the rhesus macaque show several levels of complexity such as allelic heterogeneity (polymorphism), copy number variation, differential segregation of genes/alleles present on a haplotype (diversity) and transcription level differences. A combination of techniques was implemented to screen a large panel of pedigreed Indian rhesus macaques (1,384 individuals representing the offspring of 137 founding animals) for haplotype diversity in an efficient and inexpensive manner. This approach allowed the definition of 140 haplotypes that display a relatively low degree of region variation as reflected by the presence of only 17 A, 18 B and 22 DRB types, respectively, exhibiting a global linkage disequilibrium comparable to that in humans. This finding contrasts with the situation observed in rhesus macaques from other geographic origins and in cynomolgus monkeys from Indonesia. In these latter populations, nearly every haplotype appears to be characterised by a unique A, B and DRB region. In the Indian population, however, a reshuffling of existing segments generated "new" haplotypes. Since the recombination frequency within the core MHC of the Indian rhesus macaques is relatively low, the various haplotypes were most probably produced by recombination events that accumulated over a long evolutionary time span. This idea is in accord with the notion that Indian rhesus macaques experienced a severe reduction in population during the Pleistocene due to a bottleneck caused by geographic changes. Thus, recombination-like processes appear to be a way to expand a diminished genetic repertoire in an isolated and relatively small founder population.

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