Concerted evolution in the GAPDH family of retrotransposed pseudogenes
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- Garcia-Meunier, P., Etienne-Julan, M., Fort, P. et al. Mammalian Genome (1993) 4: 695. doi:10.1007/BF00357792
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In murine rodents the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) multigene family includes more than 300 retroprocessed pseudogenes. Its single functional gene encodes GAPDH, an enzyme of glycolysis. Because of its manageable size, this family is a good model for the study of genome cohesion and evolution. By sequence comparison of several GAPDH pseudogenes in Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus, we have obtained evidence that (i) the GAPDH family still generates new pseudogenes; we note in each species the beginning of a process of species-specific evolution since the pseudogenes of one genus on average cluster more with one another than they do with those of the other genus, and (ii) the GAPDH family contains diversified subfamilies. These findings suggest a certain level of transcription and transposition of the pseudogenes independent of the functional gene which may result from various mechanisms. The homogenization we observe may be due to the pseudogenes themselves (concerted evolution in a strict sense), which explains the occurrence of long-term homogenization of old sequences and subfamily groupings.