Seven β chains were identified as the typical molecular types carried by the seven species of Sulawesi macaques based on isoelectric focusing and urea starch gel electrophoresis. These β chains include the β3 chains ofmaura, tonkeana, nigra, andbrunnescens, β1 chains ofhecki andochreata and β5 chain ofnigra. The results of chromatography on cation-exchange and reversed phase columns and the amino acid compositions of the tryptic peptides suggested substitutions at the 9th and 13th amino acids from the N-terminal. Sequence analyses of these seven β chains from the N-terminal to the 18th amino acid and those of purified tryptic peptides from βT3 to βT15 by Edman degradation revealed the following facts: (1) the amino acid sequences of the β3 chains carried by the four species coincided with each other and as did those of the β1 chains of the two named species; and (2) the 9th and 13th amino acids were Lys and Thr in β3, Asn and Asn in β1, and Asp and Thr in the β5 chain, respectively. These three β chains are related with each other by at least two-base changes. The evolution of the β chains of the Sulawesi macaques was inferred to be as follows. (1) The β3 chain might have been dominant β chain in the past among Sulawesi macaques, since peripheral species separately carried this chain; (2) the β1 and β5 chains might have derived from a “missing link” because of more than two-base substitutions between β3 and β1 and between β3 and β5; (3) eight other macaque species, including the lion-tailed macaque (M. silenus), bear Asn and Thr at these two positions, while the Barbary macaque (M. sylvanus) has Thr and Thr; and (4) thus, if the parsimonious rule is followed, the type with Asn-Thr is the most plausible “missing link,” since only the Asn-Thr type can combine these five β chains by minimum one-base change. Two genetic events are postulated in the evolutionary process of the Sulawesi β chains: the first Lys-Thr type (β3) was distributed over the whole island, and next Asn-Thr, the common type in other macaques, produced Asn-Asn (β1) and Asp-Thr (β5).
Sulawesi macaque Celebes macaque MacacaPrimary structure Hemoglobin