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Human-specific changes in two functional enhancers of FOXP2

By Antonio Benítez-Burraco, Raúl Torres-Ruiz, Pere Gelabert Xirinachs, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Sandra Rodríguez-Perales, Paloma García-Bellido

Posted 28 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/157016

Two functional enhancers of FOXP2, a gene important for language development and evolution, exhibit several human-specific changes compared to extinct hominins that are located within the binding site for different transcription factors. Specifically, Neanderthals and Denisovans bear the ancestral allele in one position within the binding site for SMARCC1, involved in brain development and vitamin D metabolism. This change might have resulted in a different pattern of FOXP2 expression in our species compared to extinct hominins.

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