Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 20, Issue 3–4, pp 202–214 | Cite as

Evolution of the human sarcomeric-actin genes: Evidence for units of selection within the 3′ untranslated regions of the mRNAs

  • Peter Gunning
  • Timothy Mohun
  • Sun-Yu Ng
  • Phyllis Ponte
  • Larry Kedes


The complete 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) sequence of the human skeletal-actin gene has been compared with the corresponding regions of the rat and chicken skeletal-actin genes. This comparison reveals that the skeletal-actin 3′UTR is composed of conserved and nonconserved segments. By using genomic Southern transfer blots and thermal stability (Tm) measurements, we found that the cardiac-actin gene 3′UTR also consists of conserved and nonconserved segments. Comparison of human andXenopus laevis cardiac-actin mRNA sequences confirms the presence of a region of high similarity in the 3′UTR. We conclude that subsegments of the 3′UTRs of both skeletal- and cardiac-actin genes of birds and mammals are under considerable selective pressure. This suggests that these conserved sequences may have functional roles in actin-gene expression or regulation, and that these roles might be different for each actin isoform.

Key words

3′ untranslated regions Structural protein genes Muscle genes DNA sequence evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Gunning
    • 1
    • 3
  • Timothy Mohun
    • 2
  • Sun-Yu Ng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Phyllis Ponte
    • 1
    • 3
  • Larry Kedes
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.The MEDIGEN Project, Department of MedicineStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.MRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridgeEngland
  3. 3.Veterans Administration Medical CenterPalo AltoUSA

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