Evolution and humans: Neanderthal contributions (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 21, 2021, 23:07 (1185 days ago) @ David Turell

Covid antibodies from Neanderthals:

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/9/e2026309118

"We show that a haplotype on chromosome 12, which is associated with a ∼22% reduction in relative risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 when infected by SARS-CoV-2, is inherited from Neandertals. This haplotype is present at substantial frequencies in all regions of the world outside Africa. The genomic region where this haplotype occurs encodes proteins that are important during infections with RNA viruses.

"It was recently shown that the major genetic risk factor associated with becoming severely ill with COVID-19 when infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is inherited from Neandertals. New, larger genetic association studies now allow additional genetic risk factors to be discovered. Using data from the Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care (GenOMICC) consortium, we show that a haplotype at a region on chromosome 12 associated with requiring intensive care when infected with the virus is inherited from Neandertals. This region encodes proteins that activate enzymes that are important during infections with RNA viruses. In contrast to the previously described Neandertal haplotype that increases the risk for severe COVID-19, this Neandertal haplotype is protective against severe disease. It also differs from the risk haplotype in that it has a more moderate effect and occurs at substantial frequencies in all regions of the world outside Africa. Among ancient human genomes in western Eurasia, the frequency of the protective Neandertal haplotype may have increased between 20,000 and 10,000 y ago and again during the past 1,000 y.

***

"Some of these contributions may reflect adaptations to environments outside Africa where Neandertals lived over several hundred thousands of years. During this time, they are likely to have adapted to infectious diseases, which are known to be strong selective factors that may, at least partly, have differed between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. Indeed, several genetic variants contributed by archaic hominins to modern humans have been shown to affect genes involved in immunity. In particular, variants at several loci containing genes involved in innate immunity come from Neandertals and Denisovans, for example, toll-like receptor gene variants which decrease the susceptibility to Helicobacter pylori infections and the risk for allergies. Furthermore, proteins interacting with RNA viruses have been shown to be encoded by DNA regions introgressed from Neandertals more often than expected, and RNA viruses might have driven many adaptive events in humans."

Comment: More evidence that interbreeding of human types aided in our overall immunities. Since different environments had different viruses the different disease experiences were combined in sapiens as as final product of evolution.


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