HAR1 (human accelerated region 1)

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Human Accelerated Regions 1 (HAR1) is part of the cis-antisense RNA gene pair HAR1F and HAR1R, which are expressed in neurons during human embryonic cortical development and adult brain. HAR1 is conserved in amniotes as far back as frogs, but 18 base pair substitutions have occurred specifically in the human lineage leading to a secondary structure change in HAR1F that is unique to humans. HAR1F co-expresses with reelin, a protein important to the proper layering of the human cortex, suggesting an important role for HAR1 in human brain development. In addition, HAR1 expression is repressed by REST, and it has been hypothesized that changes in HAR1 expression may contribute to Huntington’s disease phenotypes.

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Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Gene Symbol Type of Human-Specific Changes
Har1A; HAR1B Accelerated Evolution


  1. Mutations in Human Accelerated Regions Disrupt Cognition and Social Behavior, Doan, Ryan N., Bae Byoung-Il, Cubelos Beatriz, Chang Cindy, Hossain Amer A., Al-Saad Samira, Mukaddes Nahit M., Oner Ozgur, Al-Saffar Muna, Balkhy Soher, et al. , CellCell, 10/6/2016, Issue 167, (2016)
  2. Human accelerated region 1 noncoding RNA is repressed by REST in Huntington's disease., Johnson, R., Richter N., Jauch R., Gaughwin P. M., Zuccato C., Cattaneo E., and Stanton L. W. , Physiol Genomics, 2010 May, Volume 41, Issue 3, p.269-74, (2010)
  3. Distinctive structures between chimpanzee and human in a brain noncoding RNA., Beniaminov, A., Westhof E., and Krol A. , RNA, 2008 Jul, Volume 14, Issue 7, p.1270-5, (2008)
  4. An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans., Pollard, K. S., Salama S. R., Lambert N., Lambot Marie-Alexandra, Coppens S., Pedersen J. S., Katzman S., King B., Onodera C., Siepel A., et al. , Nature, 09/2006, Volume 443, Issue 7108, p.167-72, (2006)