Seminar: Dr. Edward Chuong, University of Utah
Seminar | January 18 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center
Title: Endogenous retroviruses as catalysts of gene regulatory evolution
Abstract: Changes in gene regulatory networks underlie many biological adaptations, but the mechanisms promoting their emergence and evolution are not well understood. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are prolific genomic parasites that constitute 6-14% of vertebrate genomes, and harbor sequences capable of modulating transcription. I will present recent work demonstrating that ERVs have been repeatedly co-opted as cis-regulatory enhancers to regulate crucial human innate immune responses. These findings implicate the selfish spread of ERVs as an important mechanism facilitating the evolution of gene regulatory networks.