GATA family of transcription factors of vertebrates: phylogenetics and chromosomal synteny
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GATA genes are an evolutionarily conserved family, which encode a group of important transcription factors involved in the regulation of diverse processes including the development of the heart, haematopoietic system and sex gonads. However, the evolutionary history of the GATA family has not been completely understood. We constructed a complete phylogenetic tree with functional domain information of the GATA genes of both vertebrates and several invertebrates, and mapped the GATA genes onto relevant chromosomes. Conserved synteny was observed around the GATA loci on the chromosomes. GATAs have a tendency to segregate onto different chromosomes during evolution. The phylogenetic tree is consistent with the relevant functions of GATA members. Analysis of the zinc finger domain showed that the domain tends to be duplicated during evolution from invertebrates to vertebrates. We propose that the balance between duplications of zinc finger domains and GATA members should be maintained to exert their physiological roles in each evolutionary stage. Therefore, evolutionary pressure on the GATAs must exist to maintain the balance during evolution from invertebrates to vertebrates. These results reveal the evolutionary characteristics of the GATA family and contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between evolution and biological functions of the gene family, which will help to uncover the GATAs’ biological roles, evolution and their relationship with associated diseases.
KeywordsPhylogeny transcription factor vertebrates zinc finger domain
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