Dec 13, 2006

Convergent adaptation of human lactase persistence in Africa and Europe

Nature Genetics
Sarah TishkoffPanos Deloukas

Abstract

A SNP in the gene encoding lactase (LCT) (C/T-13910) is associated with the ability to digest milk as adults (lactase persistence) in Europeans, but the genetic basis of lactase persistence in Africans was previously unknown. We conducted a genotype-phenotype association study in 470 Tanzanians, Kenyans and Sudanese and identified three SNPs (G/C-14010, T/G-13915 and C/G-13907) that are associated with lactase persistence and that have derived alleles that significantly enhance transcription from the LCT promoter in vitro. These SNPs originated on different haplotype backgrounds from the European C/T-13910 SNP and from each other. Genotyping across a 3-Mb region demonstrated haplotype homozygosity extending >2.0 Mb on chromosomes carrying C-14010, consistent with a selective sweep over the past approximately 7,000 years. These data provide a marked example of convergent evolution due to strong selective pressure resulting from shared cultural traits-animal domestication and adult milk consumption.

  • References38
  • Citations521
  • References38
  • Citations521

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Anhydrous lactose
Lactase Persistence
Biological Adaptation
Promoter
Caco-2 Cells
Chromosomes
Genetic Equilibrium
Alleles
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Lactase

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