Donaldson, Zoe R; Kondrashov, FyodorISTA ; Putnam, Andrea S; Bai, Yaohui; Stoinski, Tara S; Hammock, Elizabeth A; Young, Larry
Background. The arginine vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) modulates social cognition and behavior in a wide variety of species. Variation in a repetitive microsatellite element in the 5′ flanking region of the V1aR gene (AVPR1A) in rodents has been associated with variation in brain V1aR expression and in social behavior. In humans, the 5′ flanking region of AVPR1A contains a tandem duplication of two ∼350 bp, microsatellite-containing elements located approximately 3.5 kb upstream of the transcription start site. The first block, referred to as DupA, contains a polymorphic (GT) 25microsatellite; the second block, DupB, has a complex (CT) 4-(TT)-(CT)8-(GT)24polymorphic motif, known as RS3. Polymorphisms in RS3 have been associated with variation in sociobehavioral traits in humans, including autism spectrum disorders. Thus, evolution of these regions may have contributed to variation in social behavior in primates. We examined the structure of these regions in six ape, six monkey, and one prosimian species. Results. Both tandem repeat blocks are present upstream of the AVPR1A coding region in five of the ape species we investigated, while monkeys have only one copy of this region. As in humans, the microsatellites within DupA and DupB are polymorphic in many primate species. Furthermore, both single (lacking DupB) and duplicated alleles (containing both DupA and DupB) are present in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) populations with allele frequencies of 0.795 and 0.205 for the single and duplicated alleles, respectively, based on the analysis of 47 wild-caught individuals. Finally, a phylogenetic reconstruction suggests two alternate evolutionary histories for this locus. Conclusion. There is no obvious relationship between the presence of the RS3 duplication and social organization in primates. However, polymorphisms identified in some species may be useful in future genetic association studies. In particular, the presence of both single and duplicated alleles in chimpanzees provides a unique opportunity to assess the functional role of this duplication in contributing to variation in social behavior in primates. While our initial studies show no signs of directional selection on this locus in chimps, pharmacological and genetic association studies support a potential role for this region in influencing V1aR expression and social behavior.
BMC Evolutionary Biology
We thank the caretakers at Zoo Atlanta and Yerkes National Primate Center for help with procuring specimens. Additional DNA samples were supplied by Bill Hopkins, Emory University (chimpanzee), Allyson Bennet, Wake Forest University (chimpanzee, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque), Mar Sanchez, Emory University (rhesus macaque), and Anne Yoder, Duke University (galago). Susan Lambeth, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Katie Chace, Yerkes National Primate Center, helped provide records regarding the origins of wild born chimps at these centers. We would like to thank Dr Lisa McGraw and two anonymous reviewers for their com- ments on this manuscript. This work was supported by NSF IBN-9876754, NIH RR00165, NIMH56897 (LJY), MH64692 (LJY) and a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowship (ZRD).
Donaldson Z, Kondrashov F, Putnam A, et al. Evolution of a behavior-linked microsatellite-containing element in the 5′ flanking region of the primate AVPR1A gene. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2008;8(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-180
Donaldson, Z., Kondrashov, F., Putnam, A., Bai, Y., Stoinski, T., Hammock, E., & Young, L. (2008). Evolution of a behavior-linked microsatellite-containing element in the 5′ flanking region of the primate AVPR1A gene. BMC Evolutionary Biology. BioMed Central. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-8-180
Donaldson, Zoe, Fyodor Kondrashov, Andrea Putnam, Yaohui Bai, Tara Stoinski, Elizabeth Hammock, and Larry Young. “Evolution of a Behavior-Linked Microsatellite-Containing Element in the 5′ Flanking Region of the Primate AVPR1A Gene.” BMC Evolutionary Biology. BioMed Central, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-8-180.
Z. Donaldson et al., “Evolution of a behavior-linked microsatellite-containing element in the 5′ flanking region of the primate AVPR1A gene,” BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 8, no. 1. BioMed Central, 2008.
Donaldson Z, Kondrashov F, Putnam A, Bai Y, Stoinski T, Hammock E, Young L. 2008. Evolution of a behavior-linked microsatellite-containing element in the 5′ flanking region of the primate AVPR1A gene. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8(1).
Donaldson, Zoe, et al. “Evolution of a Behavior-Linked Microsatellite-Containing Element in the 5′ Flanking Region of the Primate AVPR1A Gene.” BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 8, no. 1, BioMed Central, 2008, doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-180.