Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Myosin Heavy Chain 16

Protein component of skeletal muscle sarcomeres found in jaw muscles; this protein is active in primates and other vertebrates but not in humans. It has been proposed that the gene for this protein, MYH16, became inactivated in certain hominids 2.4 mya, reduced the size of jaw muscles in that lineage, and removed a constraint preventing expansion and remodeling of the cranial vault.

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