, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 102-106

Evolutionary History of the 11p15 Human Mucin Gene Family

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The four human mucin genes MUC6, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC5B are located at chromosome 11p15.5. It has been demonstrated that the three mucins MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC5B contain several Cys-subdomains of 108 amino acid residues. In contrast, little information is available concerning MUC6. These Cys-subdomains contain 10 cysteine residues that have a highly conserved position. We present here a coherent probable evolutionary history of this human gene family after comparison of the nucleotide sequences of these Cys-subdomains. The three MUC loci MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC5B may have evolved from a common ancestral gene by two successive duplications. Moreover, we can postulate that MUC5AC and MUC5B have evolved in a concerted manner, while MUC2 has evolved separately.

Received: 30 January 1997 / Accepted: 17 April 1997