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Simple Sequence Repeats in the Human Genome: Evolution

  1. Donald E Riley1,2,
  2. John N Krieger1,2

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020839



How to Cite

Riley, D. E. and Krieger, J. N. 2008. Simple Sequence Repeats in the Human Genome: Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

  2. 2

    VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008


Recent evolutionary findings suggest important functions for even-numbered, simple sequence repeats (SRs). During evolution, weak-folding SRs whose single-stranded forms were incapable of forming classically paired duplex stems, replaced other weak-folding repeats. Strong-folding repeats replaced other strong-folding repeats. Among untranslated regions, SRs were associated with genes encoding membrane-related functions and genes encoding transcription factors. Among all possible SR sequences, evolution selected primarily weak-folding repeats. The evolution of many of the differences comparing human SR usage with other mammals can now be mapped using publically available genome sequences. Human SR sites evolved by a variety of pathways.


  • evolution;
  • genome;
  • single stranded;
  • species differences;
  • UTRs