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Evolutionary changes in gene expression account for most phenotypic differences between species. Advances in microarray technology have made the systematic study of gene expression evolution possible. In this study, gene expression patterns were compared between human and mouse genomes using two published methods. Specifically, we studied how gene expression evolution was related to GO terms and tried to decode the relationship between promoter evolution and gene expression evolution. The results showed that (1) the significant enrichment of biological processes in orthologs of expression conservation reveals functional significance of gene expression conservation. The more conserved gene expression in some biological processes than is expected in a purely neutral model reveals negative selection on gene expression. However, fast evolving genes mainly support the neutrality of gene expression evolution, and (2) gene expression conservation is positively but only slightly correlated with promoter conservation based on a motif-count score of the promoter alignment. Our results suggest a neutral model with negative selection for gene expression evolution between humans and mice, and promoter evolution could have some effects on gene expression evolution.
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Talking on behalf of my co-author, we found the whole process of submitting our paper very smooth and transparent. It was the first time that we could follow the process step-by-step. In addition we found that the reviewers were open- and broad-minded, giving us very constructive comments and advice. All of this has become rather rare in most journals at present. We are grateful to the journal to give us the opportunity to ...