Frost resistance genes found in Siberians


30/01/2013

Cambridge researchers have discovered that the native Siberians positive selection of genes that allow survival in a terrible cold.

British geneticists studied DNA samples from 200 people who are members of 10 indigenous peoples of Siberia. Scientists have analyzed the distribution of alleles of genes in order to identify options being subject to positive selection. As a result, they have identified three genes, variants of which are represented in the indigenous population of Siberia: PRKG1, UCP1 and ENPP7.

UCP1 gene was known in the past - he was found in the study of the genetic characteristics of Representatives Teleuts. This gene encodes a protein that causes the mitochondria produce heat. PRKG1 involved in the contraction of smooth muscles that are important in thermoregulation: shivering and vasoconstriction reduces heat loss. ENPP7 gene involved in lipid metabolism. According to researchers, this gene helps people living in the harsh cold absorb fat animal foods.

"Frost-resistant" version of these three genes are distributed differently in the northern and southern Siberian peoples. Thus, the inhabitants of southern Siberia mainly selected alleles of the gene UCP1, and the peoples of Central and North-Eastern Siberia preferred gene PRKG1. The third gene - ENPP7 - spread across Siberia.

The study of the genetic characteristics of different ethnic groups helps to create a historical picture anthropogenes. Often the genetic characteristics of certain ethnic groups are random, but sometimes, as in the case of the Siberians, they serve to accommodate representatives of certain people to the conditions of existence.


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