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Reduction of two functional gamma-globin genes to one: an evolutionary trend in New World monkeys (infraorder Platyrrhini).

By C H Chiu, H Schneider, M P Schneider, I Sampaio, C Meireles, J L Slightom, D L Gumucio and M Goodman


Nucleotide sequences were determined for the gamma1- and gamma2-globin loci from representatives of the seven anciently separated clades in the three extant platyrrhine families (Atelidae, Pitheciidae, and Cebidae). These sequences revealed an evolutionary trend in New World monkeys either to inactivate the gamma1 gene or to fuse it with the gamma2 gene, i.e. to have only one functional fetally expressed gamma gene. This trend is clearly evident in six of the seven clades: (i) it occurred in atelids by deletion of most of the gamma1 gene in the basal ancestor of this clade; (ii-iv) in pitheciid titi, saki, and cebid capuchin monkeys by potentially debilitating nucleotide substitutions in the proximal CCAAT box of the gamma1 promoters and (v and vi) in cebid owl and squirrel monkeys by crossovers that fused 5' sequence from gamma1 with 3' sequence from gamma2. In the five clades with gamma1 and gamma2 loci separated by intergenic sequences (the fifth clade being the cebid marmosets), the gamma2 genes retained an unaltered proximal CCAAT motif and their gamma2 promoters accumulated fewer nucleotide substitutions than did the gamma1 promoters. Thus, phylogenetic considerations indicate that the stem platyrrhines, ancestral to all New World monkeys, had gamma2 as the primary fetally expressed gamma gene. A further inference is that when the earlier stem anthropoid gamma gene duplicated, gamma2 (at its greater downstream distance from epsilon) could evade embryonic activation by the locus control region but could be fetally activated once released by regulatory mutations from fetal repressors

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.93.13.6510
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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