Nucleotide sequences of nine 5’ upstream gene regions for human, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan were determined. We estimated nucleotide differences (d) for each region between human and great apes. The overall d was 0.027 (ranged from 0.004 to 0.052). Rates of nucleotide substitution were estimated by using d and divergence times of human, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. The overall rate of nucleotide substitution between human and other hominoids was estimated to be 0.52–0.85 × 10–9. This rate in 5’ upstream regions was lower than that of synonymous sites, suggesting that 5’ upstream regions have evolved under some functional constraints. Because lower rates have been reported for coding sequences in primates compared to rodents, we also estimated the rate (1.17–1.76 × 10–9) of nucleotide substitutions for the corresponding 5’ upstream regions in rodents (mouse/rat comparison). Thus the primate rate was lower than rodent rate also for the 5’ upstream regions.
2005 by The Genetics Society of Japan