Article: article from journal or magazin.
The evolution of the thyroid hormone distributor protein transthyretin in the order insectivora, class mammalia.
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of growth and metabolism in all vertebrates. Transthyretin is one of the extracellular proteins with high affinity for thyroid hormones which determine the partitioning of these hormones between extracellular compartments and intracellular lipids. During vertebrate evolution, both the tissue pattern of expression and the structure of the gene for transthyretin underwent characteristic changes. The purpose of this study was to characterize the position of Insectivora in the evolution of transthyretin in eutherians, a subclass of Mammalia. Transthyretin was identified by thyroxine binding and Western analysis in the blood of adult shrews, hedgehogs, and moles. Transthyretin is synthesized in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream, similar to the situation for other adult eutherians, birds, and diprotodont marsupials, but different from that for adult fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes, and Australian polyprotodont marsupials. For the characterization of the structure of the gene and the processing of mRNA for transthyretin, cDNA libraries were prepared from RNA from hedgehog and shrew livers, and full-length cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. Sections of genomic DNA in the regions coding for the splice sites between exons 1 and 2 were synthesized by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. The location of splicing was deduced from comparison of genomic with cDNA nucleotide sequences. Changes in the nucleotide sequence of the transthyretin gene during evolution are most pronounced in the region coding for the N-terminal region of the protein. Both the derived overall amino sequences and the N-terminal regions of the transthyretins in Insectivora were found to be very similar to those in other eutherians but differed from those found in marsupials, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Also, the pattern of transthyretin precursor mRNA splicing in Insectivora was more similar to that in other eutherians than to that in marsupials, reptiles, and birds. Thus, in contrast to the marsupials, with a different pattern of transthyretin gene expression in the evolutionarily "older" polyprotodonts compared with the evolutionarily "younger" diprotodonts, no separate lineages of transthyretin evolution could be identified in eutherians. We conclude that transthyretin gene expression in the liver of adult eutherians probably appeared before the branching of the lineages leading to modern eutherian species.
Alternative Splicing, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Complementary/chemistry, DNA, Complementary/genetics, Evolution, Molecular, Hedgehogs/blood, Hedgehogs/genetics, Insectivora/blood, Insectivora/genetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Prealbumin/chemistry, Prealbumin/genetics, Protein Binding, RNA, Messenger/genetics, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Analysis, Protein, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Shrews/blood, Shrews/genetics, Thyroid Hormones/metabolism, Thyroxine/metabolism
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