Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 33, Issue 7–8, pp 227–235 | Cite as

AZFY-like sequence in fish, with comments on the evolution of theZFY family of genes in vertebrates

  • Edmund J. Zimmerer
  • Lori Threlkeld


ZFY-like genes have been observed in a variety of vertebrate species. Although originally implicated as the primary testis-determining gene in humans and other placental mammals, more recent evidence indicates a role(s) outside that of testis determination. In this study, DNA from five species of fish,Carasius auratus, Rivulus marmoratus, Xiphophorus maculatus, X. milleri, andX. nigrensis was subjected to Southern blot analysis using a PCR-amplified fragment of mouseZFY-like sequence as a probe. Restriction fragment patterns were not polymorphic between sexes in any one species but showed a different pattern for each species. With one exception,Rivulus, a 3.1-kb band from theEcoRI digestion was common to all. Sequence and open reading frame analysis of this fragment showed a strong homology to other known vertebrateZFY-like genes. Of particular interest in this gene is a novel third finger domain similar to one human and one alligatorZFY-like gene. Our studies and others provide evidence for a family of vertebrateZFY genes, with those having this novel third finger being representative of the ancestral condition.

Key words

zinc finger protein ZFY genes evolution of gene families 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmund J. Zimmerer
    • 1
  • Lori Threlkeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesMurray State UniversityMurray

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