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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1, 1992; 89(5): 1799–1803.

Evolutionary implications of the cDNA sequence of the single lactate dehydrogenase of a lamprey.


All vertebrates other than lampreys exhibit multiple loci encoding lactate dehydrogenase +ADL-LDH; (S)-lactate:NAD+ oxidoreductase, EC Of these loci, Ldh-A is expressed predominantly in muscle, Ldh-B is expressed predominantly in heart, and Ldh-C (where present) exhibits different tissue-restricted patterns of expression depending on the taxon. To examine the relationship of the single LDH of lampreys to other vertebrate LDHs, we have determined the cDNA sequence of the LDH of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus and compared it to previously published sequences from bacteria, plants, and vertebrates. The lamprey sequence exhibits a mixture of features of both LDH-A and LDH-B at the amino acid level that may account for its intermediate kinetic properties. Both distance and maximum parsimony analyses strongly reject a relationship of lamprey LDH with mammalian LDH-C but do not significantly distinguish among remaining alternative phylogenetic hypotheses. Evolutionary parsimony analyses suggest that the lamprey LDH is related to Ldh-A and that the single locus condition has arisen as a result of the loss of Ldh-B (prior to the appearance of Ldh-C). The collection of LDH sequences for further studies of the evolution of the vertebrate LDH gene family will be facilitated by the PCR approach that we have used to obtain the lamprey sequence.

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