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Evolution of the functionally conserved DCC gene in birds
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM).
2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, 42029Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding the loss of conserved genes is critical for determining how phenotypic diversity is generated. Here we focus on the evolution of DCC, a gene that encodes a highly conserved neural guidance receptor. Disruption of DCC in animal models and humans results in major neurodevelopmental defects including commissural axon defects. Here we examine DCC evolution in birds, which is of particular interest as a major model system in neurodevelopmental research. We found the DCC containing locus was disrupted several times during evolution, resulting in both gene losses and faster evolution rate of salvaged genes. These data suggest that DCC had been lost independently twice during bird evolution, including in chicken and zebra finch, whereas it was preserved in many other closely related bird species, including ducks. Strikingly, we observed that commissural axon trajectory appeared similar regardless of whether DCC could be detected or not. We conclude that the DCC locus is susceptible to genomic instability leading to independent disruptions in different branches of birds and a significant influence on evolution rate. Overall, the phenomenon of loss or molecular evolution of a highly conserved gene without apparent phenotype change is of conceptual importance for understanding molecular evolution of key biological processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 2017. Vol. 7, 42029
Keyword [en]
embryology, evolutionary developmental biology, neuronal development
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131968DOI: 10.1038/srep42029ISI: 000394782700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131968DiVA: diva2:1077400
Available from: 2017-02-27 Created: 2017-02-27 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved

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Patthey, CedricTong, Yong GuangTait, Christine MaryWilson, Sara Ivy
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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