A Structural Genomics Approach to the Regulation of Apoptosis: Chimp vs. Human

Jessica Ahmed (jessica.ahmed@charite.de)
Stefan Günther (stefan.guenther@charite.de)
Friedrich Möller (friedrich.moeller@charite.de)
Robert Preissner (robert.preissner@charite.de)

Structural Bioinformatics Group, Institute of Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics, Charite-University Medicine Berlin, Arnimallee 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany


After the sequencing of the human genome, the publication of the genome of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) provided groundbreaking data improving the understanding of the recent human evolution. There are about forty million changes, most of them single nucleotide substitutions, which teach us about ourselves, both in terms of similarities and differences with chimpanzees. From a medical point of view differences in incidence and severity of diseases are of special importance to pinpoint novel targets and to develop innovative therapies. This analysis focuses on the cognition that chimpanzees rarely suffer from cancer. To elucidate possible reasons for this finding, we compare differences regarding apoptosis and DNA-repair on different levels of chromosome organization, gene structure, post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications to functional changes in protein structures. The result is a complex pattern of subtle variances and a few large-scale changes.

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Japanese Society for Bioinformatics