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

Ribonuclease k6: chromosomal mapping and divergent rates of evolution within the RNase A gene superfamily.

We have localized the gene encoding human RNase k6 to within approximately 120 kb on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 by HAPPY mapping. With this information, the relative positions of the six human RNase A ribonucleases that have been mapped to this locus can be inferred. To further our understanding of the individual lineages comprising the RNase A superfamily, we have isolated and characterized 10 novel genes orthologous to that encoding human RNase k6 from Great Ape, Old World, and New World monkey genomes. Each gene encodes a complete ORF with no less than 86% amino acid sequence identity to human RNase k6 with the eight cysteines and catalytic histidines (H15 and H123) and lysine (K38) typically observed among members of the RNase A superfamily. Interesting trends include an unusually low number of synonymous substitutions (Ks) observed among the New World monkey RNase k6 genes. When considering nonsilent mutations, RNase k6 is a relatively stable lineage, with a nonsynonymous substitution rate of 0.40 x 10(-9) nonsynonymous substitutions/nonsynonymous site/year (ns/ns/yr). These results stand in contrast to those determined for the primate orthologs of the two closely related ribonucleases, the eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), which have incorporated nonsilent mutations at very rapid rates (1.9 x 10(-9) and 2.0 x 10(-9) ns/ns/yr, respectively). The uneventful trends observed for RNase k6 serve to spotlight the unique nature of EDN and ECP and the unusual evolutionary constraints to which these two ribonuclease genes must be responding. [The sequence data described in this paper have been submitted to the GenBank data library under accession nos. AF037081-AF037090.][1]


  1. Ribonuclease k6: chromosomal mapping and divergent rates of evolution within the RNase A gene superfamily. Deming, M.S., Dyer, K.D., Bankier, A.T., Piper, M.B., Dear, P.H., Rosenberg, H.F. Genome Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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