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Positive Selection and the Evolution of Prodynorphin

  1. Matthew V Rockman

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020790



How to Cite

Rockman, M. V. 2008. Positive Selection and the Evolution of Prodynorphin. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Princeton University, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008


Positive natural selection has shaped the cis-regulation of human prodynorphin, the precursor molecule for a suite of opioid neuropeptides with roles in perception. Population genetic data suggest that after the split between the human and chimpanzee lineages, selection drove multiple substitutions in a regulatory element upstream of prodynorphin. The substitutions fall within a cis-regulatory tandem repeat polymorphism segregating in contemporary populations. The repeat polymorphism is also seen by selection, and differing repeat allele frequencies in different parts of the globe reflect the varying pattern of positive selection.


  • prodynorphin;
  • cis-regulation;
  • positive selection;
  • evolutionary genetics;
  • opioids