Frequency of Cancer Genes on the Chicken Z Chromosome and Its Human Homologues: Implications for Sex Chromosome Evolution Academic Article uri icon


  • It has been suggested that there are special evolutionary forces that act on sex chromosomes. Hemizygosity of the X chromosome in male mammals has led to selection for male-advantage genes, and against genes posing extreme risks of tumor development. A similar bias against cancer genes should also apply to the Z chromosome that is present as a single copy in female birds. Using comparative database analysis, we found that there was no significant underrepresentation of cancer genes on the chicken Z, nor on the Z-orthologous regions of human chromosomes 5 and 9. This result does not support the hypothesis that genes involved in cancer are selected against on the sex chromosomes.


  • Graves, Jenny
  • Stiglec, Rami
  • Kohn, Matthias
  • Fong, James
  • Ezaz, Tariq
  • Hameister, Horst
  • Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

publication date

  • 2007