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Gene. 2002 Aug 21;296(1-2):99-109.

Structure, molecular evolution, and gene expression of primate superoxide dismutases.

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Center for Human Evolution Modeling Research, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama 484-8506, Japan.


Mn- and Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) cDNAs of eight primate species, Pan troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus, Hylobates lar, Macaca fuscata, Macaca fascicularis, Macaca mulatta, Cebus apella, and Callithrix jacchus, were cloned. The whole protein-coding sequences were covered, comparing 198 and 153 (or 154) amino acids, for Mn- and Cu,Zn-SODs, respectively. Residues forming metal ligands were completely conserved in the two primate SODs and nucleotide/amino acid substitutions were more frequent in Cu,Zn-SODs than in Mn-SODs. Molecular evolutionary analyses showed Mn-SOD to have evolved at a constant rate and its phylogenetic tree well reflected primate phylogeny. Cu,Zn-SOD was shown to have evolved differently between primate lineages. The significant high ratio of a non-synonymous/synonymous rate was found in the lineage leading to great apes and humans, showing that this lineage underwent positive Darwinian selection. Southern hybridization suggested that the genes for primate Mn- and Cu,Zn-SOD exist as single copies. Northern analysis in various Japanese monkey tissues showed Mn- and Cu,Zn-SOD expression to be high in the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands.

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