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

The mitochondrial genome of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe: highly homologous introns are inserted at the same position of the otherwise less conserved cox1 genes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Aspergillus nidulans.

The DNA sequence of the second intron in the mitochondrial gene for subunit 1 of cytochrome oxidase ( cox1), and the 3' part of the structural gene have been determined in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Comparing the presumptive amino acid sequence of the 3' regions of the cox1 genes in fungi reveals similarly large evolutionary distances between Aspergillus nidulans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. pombe. The comparison of exon sequences also reveals a stretch of only low homology and of general size variation among the fungal and mammalian genes, close to the 3' ends of the cox1 genes. The second intron in the cox1 gene of S. pombe contains an open reading frame, which is contiguous with the upstream exon and displays all characteristics common to class I introns. Three findings suggest a recent horizontal gene transfer of this intron from an Aspergillus type fungus to S. pombe. (i) The intron is inserted at exactly the same position of the cox1 gene, where an intron is also found in A. nidulans. (ii) Both introns contain the highest amino acid homology between the intronic unassigned reading frames of all fungi identified so far (70% identity over a stretch of 253 amino acids). However, in the most homologous region, a GC-rich sequence is inserted in the A. nidulans intron, flanked by two direct repeats of 5 bp. The 37-bp insert plus 5 bp of direct repeat amounts to an extra 42 bp in the A. nidulans intron. (iii) TGA codons are the preferred tryptophan codons compared with TGG in all mitochondrial protein coding sequences of fungi and mammalia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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