Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SLC24A5 & SLC45A2 in Europe, Asia and Africa

..A new paper reporting on allele frequencies of two skin pigmentation-related genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. The cool thing about this paper is the populations they sampled (most notably the central and south Asian populations, Uygurs and Tamils). Their results hint at admixture between Europeans and these Asian populations but not with other more east Asians (Chinese).
I wonder why this was published in International Journal of Legal Medicine.

Population differences of two coding SNPs in pigmentation-related genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2

Mikko Soejima and Yoshiro Koda

International Journal of Legal Medicine, Online First

Abstract: The two genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 were recently identified as major determinants of pigmentation in humans and in other vertebrates. The allele p.A111T in the former gene and the allele p.L374F in the latter gene are both nearly fixed in light-skinned Europeans, and can therefore be considered ancestry informative marker (AIMs). AIMs are becoming useful for forensic identification of the phenotype from a DNA profile sampled, for example, from a crime scene. Here, we generate new allelic data for these two genes from samples of Chinese, Uygurs, Ghanaians, South African Xhosa, South African Europeans, and Sri Lankans (Tamils and Sinhalese). Our data confirm the earlier results and furthermore demonstrate that the SLC45A2 allele is a more specific AIM than the SLC24A5 allele because the former clearly distinguishes the Sri Lankans from the Europeans.

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