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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expansion and divergence of the GH locus between spider monkey and chimpanzee.

Growth hormone ( GH) has been previously described as showing distinct evolutionary stories between primates and other mammals. A burst of changes and successive amplification events took place in the primate lineage giving rise to a multigene family in the three Anthropoidea lineages. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to obtain the genes and the intergenic regions comprising the GH loci of the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), a New-World primate, and of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), an ape. The intergenic sequences of both species were screened by hybridization to detect copies of the Alu family, which have been implicated in the formation of the human GH locus. The GH locus of the spider monkey contains at least six GH-related genes, four of them were cloned. Likewise, five short intergenic sequences of approximately 3 kb were amplified and cloned. On the other hand, in the chimpanzee four new placental lactogen (PL) genes as well as four intergenic regions were amplified. Consequently, in this ape, six genes (two GHs, previously obtained, and four PLs) are clustered, separated by intergenic sequences of different lengths (two short ones of about 5 kb, and at least two long ones between 9 and 13 kb). The presence of Alu sequences within the intergenic regions of both GH loci corroborates the current hypothesis that they acted as a driving force for the locus expansion. GH sequence comparisons reveal that several gene-conversion events might have occurred during the formation of this genome region, which has undergone independent evolution in the three Anthropoidea branches. To establish the GH's evolutionary history may prove to be a difficult task due to these gene-conversion events.[1]


  1. Expansion and divergence of the GH locus between spider monkey and chimpanzee. Revol De Mendoza, A., Esquivel Escobedo, D., Martínez Dávila, I., Saldaña, H. Gene (2004) [Pubmed]
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