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The Effect Of Drift And Selection On Premature Start Codons In Mammalian Genomes

Student: Vitaly Segodin

Supervisor: Stepan Denisov

Faculty: Faculty of Computer Science

Educational Programme: Data Analysis for Biology and Medicine (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

This paper is dedicated to the influence of natural selection on short open reading frames (sORFs) located in 5’untranslated region (5’UTR) before the main coding sequence (CDS) of protein-coding genes. The analysis was carried out on primate phylogenetic tree among selected genes for the three types of sORFs: uORF (upstream open reading frame), iORF (in-frame open reading frame) and oORF (overlapping reading frame). As a result of the work, it was found that the appearance of new start codon in 5’UTR is undergoing the influence of negative selection, while appearance of start codon in iORF configuration was found to be the most harmful. At the same time, uORFs and oORFs already fixed in population were preserved by stabilizing selection, while fixed iORFs were discovered to be disrupted by positive selection. It was found that strength of natural selection acting on sORFs depends on several characteristics such as the length, proximity to the CDS to uORF, the length of N-terminal extension (for iORF) and start-codon contexts (for all three sORF configurations).

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