Copy number variants contribute extensively to inter-individual genomic differences, but little is known about their inter-population variability and diversity. In a previous study (Bosch et al., 2007; 16:2572-2582), we reported that the primate-specific gene family FAM90A, which accounts for as many as 25 members in the human reference assembly, has expanded the number of FAM90A clusters across the hominoid lineage. Here we examined the copy number variability of FAM90A genes in 260 HapMap samples of European, African, and Asian ancestry, and showed significant inter-population differences (p < 0.0001). Based on the recent study of Stranger et al. (2007; 315:848-853), we also explored the correlation between copy number variability and expression levels of the FAM90A gene family. Despite the high genomic variability, we found a low correlation between FAM90A copy number and expression levels, which could be due to the action of independent trans-acting factors. Our results show that FAM90A is highly variable in copy number between individuals and between populations. However, this variability has little impact on gene expression levels, thus highlighting the importance of genomic variability for genes located in regions containing segmental duplications.
- FAM90A (family with sequence similarity 90, GenBank: NM_018088)
- Inter-population variability
- Real-time PCR
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