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Genetics. Jan 1996; 142(1): 295–303.
PMCID: PMC1206958

Evolution of Antennapedia-Class Homeobox Genes

Abstract

Antennapedia (Antp)-class homeobox genes are involved in the determination of pattern formation along the anterior-posterior axis of the animal embryo. A phylogenetic analysis of Antp-class homeodomains of the nematode, Drosophila, amphioxus, mouse, and human indicates that the 13 cognate group genes of this gene family can be divided into two major groups, i.e., groups I and II. Group I genes can further be divided into subgroups A (cognate groups 1-2), B (cognate group 3), and C (cognate groups 4-8), and group II genes can be divided into subgroups D (cognate groups 9-10) and E (cognate groups 11-13), though this classification is somewhat ambiguous. Evolutionary distances among different amino acid sequences suggest that the divergence between group I and group II genes occurred ~1000 million years (MY) ago, and the five different subgroups were formed by ~600 MY ago, probably before the divergence of Pseudocoelomates (e.g., nematodes) and Coelomates (e.g., insects and chordates). Our results show that the genes that are phylogenetically close are also closely located in the chromosome, suggesting that the colinearity between the gene expression and gene arrangement was generated by successive tandem gene duplications and that the gene arrangement has been maintained by some sort of selection.

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Selected References

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