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Genomics. 2001 Jan 15;71(2):150-5.

Structure of the mouse Stat 3/5 locus: evolution from Drosophila to zebrafish to mouse.

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Laboratory of Genetics and Physiology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 8, Room 101, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) are transcription factors that can be activated by many cytokines. While Drosophila contains only one Stat (d-Stat), mammals contain seven, with STATs 3, 5a, and 5b being the closest functional relatives. To understand the evolutionary relationship between d-Stat and vertebrate STATs 3 and 5, we isolated, sequenced, and analyzed the zebrafish Stat3 (z-Stat3) gene and a 500-kb region spanning mouse chromosome 11, 60.5 cM containing three Stat genes (m-Stats). Within this region we identified the genes encoding m-Stats 3, 5a, and 5b, Cnp1, Hcrt/Orexin, Ptrf, GCN5, mDj11, and four new genes. The 5' ends of the m-Stat5a and m-Stat5b genes are juxtaposed to each other, and the 3' ends of the m-Stat3 and Stat5a genes face each other. While the m-Stat5a and m-Stat3 genes have one promoter each, which are active in many tissues, the m-Stat5b gene acquired two distinct promoters. The distal promoter is expressed ubiquitously, and transcription from the proximal promoter is restricted to liver, muscle, and mammary tissue. Through a comparison of exon-intron boundaries from the m-Stat3, m-Stat5a, and m-Stat5b, z-Stat3, and d-Stat genes, we deduced their evolutionary relationship. We propose that the Stat3 and Stat5 lineages are derived from the duplication of a common primordial gene and that d-Stat is a part of the Stat5 lineage.

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