Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 2, January 2004
Page(s) 290 - 296
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 January 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (2) , pp. 290-296 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10082-6

Mutational dynamics of short tandem repeats in human genome

B. Borstnik and D. Pumpernik

National Institute of Chemistry - P.O. Box 660, 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia

(Received 28 April 2003; accepted in final form 5 November 2003)

The evolutionary dynamics of short tandem repeats of nucleotide sequences of the human genome is studied. It is shown that a model due to which the evolutionary repeat dynamics consists of elongations and shortenings of the repeats, combined with point mutations, is degenerate in the sense that an ambiguity exists regarding the role of point mutations and slippage asymmetry. By introducing a measure of the correlations between the positions of the repeats along the DNA sequences we were able to remove the degeneracy and to show that the slippage events which are the main factor in repeat evolution exhibit more frequent shortenings than elongations.

87.23.Kg - Dynamics of evolution.
87.16.Ac - Theory and modeling; computer simulation.
87.10.+e - General theory and mathematical aspects.

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