Conservation and divergence in the transcriptional programs of the human and mouse immune systems

ImmGen Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

247 Scopus citations


Much of the knowledge about cell differentiation and function in the immune system has come from studies in mice, but the relevance to human immunology, diseases, and therapy has been challenged, perhaps more from anecdotal than comprehensive evidence. To this end, we compare two large compendia of transcriptional profiles of human and mouse immune cell types. Global transcription profiles are conserved between corresponding cell lineages. The expression patterns of most orthologous genes are conserved, particularly for lineage-specific genes. However, several hundred genes show clearly divergent expression across the examined cell lineages, and among them, 169 genes did so even with highly stringent criteria. Finally, regulatory mechanisms-reflected by regulators' differential expression or enriched cis-elements-are conserved between the species but to a lower degree, suggesting that distinct regulation may underlie some of the conserved transcriptional responses.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2946-2951
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - 19 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative transcriptomics
  • Evolution
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray


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