Rute R. {da Fonseca}, Carolin Kosiol, Tomas Vinar, Adam Siepel, Rasmus Nielsen. Positive selection on apoptosis related genes. FEBS letters, 584(3):469-476. 2010.

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Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death crucial for development,
homeostasis, immunity, spermatogenesis, and prevention of cancer. Positive
selection acting on mammalian apoptosis related genes targets protein
interfaces that interact with pathogens and also elements of signaling
complexes. Selection appears primarily to be driven by the immune/defense
related function of these genes. Moreover, competitive interactions could
be driving positive selection among sperm cells, as well as the need for
protection against female anti-sperm immune responses. Trade-offs in
fitness are expected out of these selective pressures, which could explain
the involvement of these genes in various diseases, including cancer.