Extensive duplications of phototransduction genes in early vertebrate evolution correlate with block (chromosome) duplications

Karin Nordström, Tomas A. Larsson, Dan Larhammar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many gene families in mammals have members that are expressed more or less uniquely in the retina or differentially in specific retinal cell types. We describe here analyses of nine such gene families with regard to phylogenetic relationships and chromosomal location. The families are opsins, G proteins (α, β, and γ subunits), phosphodiesterases type 6, cyclic nucleotide-gated channels, G-protein-coupled receptor kinases, arrestins, and recoverins. The results suggest that multiple new gene copies arose in all of these families very early in vertebrate evolution during a period with extensive gene duplications. Many of the new genes arose through duplications of large chromosome regions (blocks of genes) or even entire chromosomes, as shown by linkage with other gene families. Some of the phototransduction families belong to the same duplicated regions and were thus duplicated simultaneously. We conclude that gene duplications in early vertebrate evolution probably helped facilitate the specialization of the retina and the subspecialization of different retinal cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-872
Number of pages21
JournalGenomics
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Eye
  • Gene duplication
  • Gene phylogeny
  • Opsin
  • Paralogon
  • Phototransduction
  • Retina
  • Tetraploidization
  • Vertebrate

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