Comparative genomics - Small genome, big insights

University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 11/2004; 431(7011):916-7. DOI: 10.1038/431916a
Source: PubMed


Available from: Peter Holland, Sep 10, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) and its structurally related peptide, Carassius Arg-Phe-amide peptide (C-RFa), have been reported to play similar roles in regulating food intake and pituitary functions in vertebrates. However, the identity, functionality, and expression of the receptor(s) for PrRP and C-RFa remain largely unknown in nonmammalian vertebrates, including birds. In this study, three receptors homologous to mammalian PrRP receptor (PrRPR), named cPrRPR1, cPrRPR2, and cC-RFaR, respectively, were cloned from chicken brain by RT-PCR. Using a pGL3-NFAT-RE-luciferase reporter system, we demonstrated that cPrRPR1 and cPrRPR2 expressed in Chinese hamster ovarian cells could be activated by cPrRP₂₀ and cC-RFa₂₀ potently, whereas cC-RFaR could only be activated effectively by cC-RFa₂₀ (EC₅₀, 0.11 nM), indicating that cPrRPR1 and cPrRPR2 can function as common receptors for PrRP and C-RFa, whereas cC-RFaR is a receptor specific to C-RFa. Using a pGL3-CRE-luciferase reporter system, cPrRPR1, cPrRPR2, and cC-RFaR expressed in Chinese hamster ovarian cells were also shown to activate intracellular protein kinase A signaling pathway upon cC-RFa₂₀ treatment (100 nM). Moreover, RT-PCR assay revealed that cPrRPR1, cPrRPR2, and cC-RFaR were widely expressed in most adult chicken tissues examined, including various regions of brain. These findings, together with evidence of PrRP and C-RFa encoded by separate genes in chicken, Xenopus, and zebrafish, and the differential expression of PrRP and C-RFa genes in chicken tissues, strongly suggest that PrRP and C-RFa may play similar yet distinctive roles in nonmammalian vertebrates, including chicken, and their actions are mediated by common receptor(s) or a specific C-RFa receptor.
    Endocrinology 02/2012; 153(4):1861-74. DOI:10.1210/en.2011-1719 · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The STAT signaling pathway is one of the seven common pathways that govern cell fate decisions during animal development. Comparative genomics revealed multiple incidences of stat gene duplications throughout metazoan evolutionary history. While pseudogenization is a frequent fate of duplicated genes, many of these STAT duplications evolved into novel genes through rapid sequence diversification and neofunctionalization. Additionally, the core of STAT gene regulatory networks, comprising stat1 through 4, stat5 and stat6, arose early in vertebrate evolution, probably through the two whole genome duplication events that occurred after the split of Cephalochordates but before the rise of Chondrichthyes. While another complete genome duplication event took place during the evolution of bony fish after their separation from the tetrapods about 450 million years ago (Mya), modern fish have only one set of these core stats, suggesting the rapid loss of most duplicated stat genes. The two stat5 genes in mammals likely arose from a duplication event in early Eutherian evolution, a period from about 310 Mya at the avian-mammal divergence to the separation of marsupials from other mammals about 130 Mya. These analyses indicate that whole genome duplications and gene duplications by unequal chromosomal crossing over were likely the major mechanisms underlying the evolution of STATs.
    01/2012; 1(1):23-33. DOI:10.4161/jkst.19418
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    ABSTRACT: All fabp genes, except fabp2, fabp3 and fabp6, exist as duplicates in the zebrafish genome owing to a whole genome duplication event ~230-400 million years ago. Transcription of some duplicated fabp genes is modulated by fatty acids (FAs) and/or clofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonist. We had also shown previously that the steady-state level of acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (acox1) mRNA, a marker of PPARα activation, was elevated in liver, intestine, heart and muscle of fish fed clofibrate demonstrating that zebrafish, unlike some fishes, is responsive to this drug. acox1 transcripts were not induced in brain of fish fed clofibrate, which suggests this drug may not cross the blood brain barrier. Here, we investigated the effect of dietary FAs and clofibrate on the transcription of single copy fabp genes, fabp2, fabp3 and fabp6, in five tissues of inbred zebrafish. The steady-state level of fabp2 transcripts increased in intestine, while fabp3 mRNA increased in liver of fish fed diets differing in FA content. In fish fed clofibrate, fabp3 mRNA in intestine, and fabp6 mRNA in intestine and heart, were elevated. Based on these findings, modulation of fabp2, fabp3 and fabp6 transcription by FAs and/or clofibrate in zebrafish implicates control of these genes by PPAR interaction with peroxisome proliferator response elements (PPRE) most likely in fabp promoters. Moreover, transcriptional induction of these fabp genes by dietary FAs and/or clofibrate is over-ridden by a tissue-specific mechanism(s), e.g., transcriptional activator or repressor proteins.
    Gene 03/2013; 520(1). DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2013.02.034 · 2.08 Impact Factor