The dental proteome of Homo antecessor



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Welker, Frido and Ramos Madrigal, Jazmín and Gutenbrunner, Petra and Mackie, Meaghan and Tiwary, Shivani and Rakownikow Jersie-Christensen, Rosa and Chiva, Cristina and Dickinson, Marc R. and Kuhlwilm, Martin and de Manuel, Marc and Gelabert, Pere and Martinón Torres, María and Margvelashvili, Ann and Arsuaga, Juan Luis and Carbonell i Roura, Eudald and Marques Bonet, Tomas and Penkman, Kirsty and Sabidó, Eduard and Cox, Jürgen and Olsen, Jesper V. and Lordkipanidze, David and Racimo, Fernando and Lalueza-Fox, Carles and Bermúdez de Castro, José María and Willerslev, Eske and Cappellini, Enrico (2020) The dental proteome of Homo antecessor. Nature, 580 . 235–238-238. ISSN 0028-0836, ESSN: 1476-4687

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The phylogenetic relationships between hominins of the Early Pleistocene epoch in Eurasia, such as Homo antecessor, and hominins that appear later in the fossil record during the Middle Pleistocene epoch, such as Homo sapiens, are highly debated1,2,3,4,5. For the oldest remains, the molecular study of these relationships is hindered by the degradation of ancient DNA. However, recent research has demonstrated that the analysis of ancient proteins can address this challenge6,7,8. Here we present the dental enamel proteomes of H. antecessor from Atapuerca (Spain)9,10 and Homo erectus from Dmanisi (Georgia)1, two key fossil assemblages that have a central role in models of Pleistocene hominin morphology, dispersal and divergence. We provide evidence that H. antecessor is a close sister lineage to subsequent Middle and Late Pleistocene hominins, including modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans. This placement implies that the modern-like face of H. antecessor—that is, similar to that of modern humans—may have a considerably deep ancestry in the genus Homo, and that the cranial morphology of Neanderthals represents a derived form. By recovering AMELY-specific peptide sequences, we also conclude that the H. antecessor molar fragment from Atapuerca that we analysed belonged to a male individual. Finally, these H. antecessor and H. erectus fossils preserve evidence of enamel proteome phosphorylation and proteolytic digestion that occurred in vivo during tooth formation. Our results provide important insights into the evolutionary relationships between H. antecessor and other hominin groups, and pave the way for future studies using enamel proteomes to investigate hominin biology across the existence of the genus Homo.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological anthropology, Evolutionary biology, Evolutionary genetics, Proteomic analysis
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
Medical sciences > Biology > Evolution
ID Code:60372
Deposited On:06 May 2020 11:13
Last Modified:12 May 2020 11:21

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