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Genome Res. 2013 Jan;23(1):46-59. doi: 10.1101/gr.138842.112. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Evolutionary dynamism of the primate LRRC37 gene family.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari 70126, Italy.


Core duplicons in the human genome represent ancestral duplication modules shared by the majority of intrachromosomal duplication blocks within a given chromosome. These cores are associated with the emergence of novel gene families in the hominoid lineage, but their genomic organization and gene characterization among other primates are largely unknown. Here, we investigate the genomic organization and expression of the core duplicon on chromosome 17 that led to the expansion of LRRC37 during primate evolution. A comparison of the LRRC37 gene family organization in human, orangutan, macaque, marmoset, and lemur genomes shows the presence of both orthologous and species-specific gene copies in all primate lineages. Expression profiling in mouse, macaque, and human tissues reveals that the ancestral expression of LRRC37 was restricted to the testis. In the hominid lineage, the pattern of LRRC37 became increasingly ubiquitous, with significantly higher levels of expression in the cerebellum and thymus, and showed a remarkable diversity of alternative splice forms. Transfection studies in HeLa cells indicate that the human FLAG-tagged recombinant LRRC37 protein is secreted after cleavage of a transmembrane precursor and its overexpression can induce filipodia formation.

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