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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Oct 14;336(1):175-89.

The repertoire of solute carriers of family 6: identification of new human and rodent genes.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, BMC, Box 593, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


Tremendous amount of primary sequence information has been made available from the genome sequencing projects, although a complete annotation and identification of all genes is still far from being complete. Here, we present the identification of two new human genes from the pharmacologically important family of transporter proteins, solute carriers family 6 (SLC6). These were named SLC6A17 and SLC6A18 by HUGO. The human repertoire of SLC6 proteins now consists of 19 functional members and four pseudogenes. We also identified the corresponding orthologues and additional genes from mouse and rat genomes. Detailed phylogenetic analysis of the entire family of SLC6 proteins in mammals shows that this family can be divided into four subgroups. We used Hidden Markov Models for these subgroups and identified in total 430 unique SLC6 proteins from 10 animal, one plant, two fungi, and 196 bacterial genomes. It is evident that SLC6 proteins are present in both animals and bacteria, and that three of the four subfamilies of mammalian SLC6 proteins are present in Caenorhabditis elegans, showing that these subfamilies are evolutionary very ancient. Moreover, we performed tissue localization studies on the entire family of SLC6 proteins on a panel of 15 rat tissues and further, the expression of three of the new genes was studied using quantitative real-time PCR showing expression in multiple central and peripheral tissues. This paper presents an overall overview of the gene repertoire of the SLC6 gene family and its expression profile in rats.

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