The ability to transfer genes from one species to another provides a powerful method to study genetic regulatory differences between species in a homogeneous genetic background. A survey of several transgenic animal experiments indicates that the vast majority of regulatory differences observed between species are due to differences in the cis‐acting elements associated with the genes under study. A corollary is that in almost all cases the host species provides the necessary regulatory proteins for expression of the transgenes in specific tissues in which the endogenous homolog is not expressed. Although the details of the cis‐acting differences are unknown for most cases, it appears that these differences may consist of the acquisition or loss of unique elements or subtle variation of conserved elements. It is unknown whether much of this variation is directly related to adaptive evolution. The identification of the promoter enhancer elements responsible for these differences is an important first step in examining the functional significance of this variation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)