AZFY-like sequence in fish, with comments on the evolution of theZFY family of genes in vertebrates
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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 wordszinc finger protein ZFY genes evolution of gene families
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