, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

The evolution of S100A7 in primates: a model of concerted and birth-and-death evolution

  • Ana Águeda-Pinto
  • Pedro José EstevesEmail author
Original Article


The human S100A7 resides in the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) and has been described as a key effector of innate immunity. In humans, there are five S100A7 genes located in tandem—S100A7A, S100A7P1, S100AL2, S100A7, and S100AP2. The presence of several retroelements in the S100A7A/S100A7P1 and S100A7/S100A7P2 clusters suggests that these genes were originated from a duplication around ~ 35 million years ago, during or after the divergence of Platyrrhini and Catarrhini primates. To test this hypothesis, and taking advantage of the high number of genomic sequences available in the public databases, we retrieved S100A7 gene sequences of 12 primates belonging to the Cercopithecoidea and Hominoidea (Catarrhini species). Our results support the duplication theory, with at least one gene of each cluster being identified in both Cercopithecoidea and Hominoidea species. Moreover, given the presence of an ongoing gene conversion event between S100A7 and S100A7A, a high rate of mutation in S100A7L2 and the presence of pseudogenes, we proposed a model of concerted and birth-and-death evolution to explain the evolution of S100A7 gene family. Indeed, our results suggest that S100A7L2 most likely suffered a neofunctionalization in the Catarrhini group. Being S100A7 a major protein in innate defense, we believe that our findings could open new doors in the study of this gene family in immune system.


S100A7 (psoriasin) Primates Model of concerted and birth-and-death evolution 



This work was funded by the National Funds through the FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal, under the doctoral fellowship of AAP (ref. SFRH/BD/128752/2017). FCT supported the FCT Investigator grants of PJE (IF/00376/2015).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

251_2018_1079_MOESM1_ESM.docx (50 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos genéticosUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de BiologiaFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde (CESPU)GandraPortugal

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