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J Biol Chem. 1997 Nov 21;272(47):29721-8.

Evolution of fucosyltransferase genes in vertebrates.

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  • 1INSERM U178, Universit√© de Paris Sud (XI), 94807 Villejuif Cedex, France.


Cloning and expression of chimpanzee FUT3, FUT5, and FUT6 genes confirmed the hypothesis that the gene duplications at the origin of the present human cluster of genes occurred between: (i) the great mammalian radiation 80 million years ago and (ii) the separation of man and chimpanzee 10 million years ago. The phylogeny of fucosyltransferase genes was completed by the addition of the FUT8 family of alpha(1,6)fucosyltransferase genes, which are the oldest genes of the fucosyltransferase family. By analysis of data banks, a new FUT8 alternative splice expressed in human retina was identified, which allowed mapping the human FUT8 gene to 14q23. The results suggest that the fucosyltransferase genes have evolved by successive duplications, followed by translocations, and divergent evolution from a single ancestral gene.

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