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OMICS. 2002;6(2):187-98.

Cross-species conservation of SEL1L, a human pancreas-specific expressing gene.

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  • 1Institute for Biomedical Technologies-CNR, Segrate, Milano, Italy.


SEL1L is a recently cloned and organ-specific expressing human gene whose function is still at an embryonic stage but displays several interesting characteristics, among which a remarkable cross-species conservation. During evolution, the gene structural complexity increased, suggesting a diversification of its function; however, several amino acid motifs remain perfectly conserved from the bacteria to the human protein. SEL1L is the human ortholog of the C. elegans gene sel-1; the latter is implicated in the negative regulation of LIN-12/GLP-1/Notch receptor proteins. These receptor proteins play fundamental roles in signal transduction pathways and are key players in cell fate determination during the development of various organs. Studies in model organisms, such as C. elegans, helped to illuminate fundamental mechanisms involved in normal cellular functions and human diseases. This paper describes the conserved nature of SEL1L across a wide range of species suggesting, that the encoded protein most likely exerts a very important biological function; it may belong to a subclass of genes considered to be "essential."

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