Supplementary material from "Genomic architecture and functional effects of potential human inversion supergenes"



Supergenes are involved in adaptation in multiple organisms, but in humans, they are little known. Genomic inversions are the most common mechanism of supergene generation and maintenance. Here, we review the information about two large inversions that are the best examples of potential human supergenes. In addition, we do an integrative analysis of the newest data to understand better their functional effects and underlying genetic changes. We have found that the highly divergent approximately 1.5 Mb haplotypes of the 17q21.31 inversion have multiple phenotypic associations, with consistent effects in brain-related traits, red and white blood cells, lung function, male and female characteristics and disease risk. By combining gene expression and nucleotide variation data, we also analysed the molecular differences between haplotypes, including gene duplications, amino acid substitutions and regulatory changes, and identify CRHR1, KANLS1 and MAPT as good candidates to be responsible of these phenotypes. The situation is more complex for the 8p23.1 inversion, where there is no clear genetic differentiation. However, the inversion is associated with several related phenotypes and gene expression differences that could be linked to haplotypes specific of one orientation. Our work, therefore, contributes to the characterization of both exceptional variants and illustrates the important role of inversions.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Genomic architecture of supergenes: causes and evolutionary consequences’.
Date made available9 May 2022

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