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

DNA sequence analysis and structural relationships among the cytoskeletal actin genes of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

The general organization and primary amino acid sequences of the S. purpuratus cytoskeletal actin genes CyIIb and CyIIIb have been determined from restriction enzyme analysis, DNA sequencing, and RNA mapping studies. As is the case with the other sea urchin cytoskeletal actin genes previously studied, the CyIIb and CyIIIb genes contain two introns that interrupt the coding DNA following codon 121 and within codon 204. An intron ending 26-27 nucleotides (nt) upstream of the initiation codon has also been localized in the 5'-flanking region of both genes. The CyIIb gene, which is part of a cluster of three genes linked in the order CyI-CyIIa-CyIIb, encodes a protein that differs from CyI by a single residue and from CyIIa by three residues. The substitutions observed within this linkage group are relatively conservative changes, and pairwise comparisons between genes indicate less than 5% mismatch in nucleotide sequence within the coding region. Nucleotide sequence comparisons of 5'-flanking region and intron DNA, however, indicate greater similarity between the CyI and CyIIb genes than the CyIIa gene that separates them, suggestive of a potential gene conversion event between the flanking genes in the CyI-CyIIa-CyIIb linkage. The CyIIIb gene, part of a separate cluster of two functional genes ordered CyIIIa-CyIIIb, shares little similarity outside of coding DNA with genes of the other linkage group. Although CyIIIb exhibits strong nucleotide sequence similarity outside of coding DNA with the neighboring CyIIIa gene, it differs from that gene at six codons. The CyIIIb gene encodes a protein considerably different from all cytoskeletal actins previously reported, with changes clustered in the latter 40% of the coding sequence. An 81-nt tandem duplication of the C-terminal coding region is located adjacent to the termination codon of the CyIIIb gene, a potential relic of a slipped mispairing and replication event.[1]


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