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Mol Biol Evol. 2007 Jan;24(1):281-7. Epub 2006 Oct 25.

Morphological change caused by loss of the taxon-specific polyalanine tract in Hoxd-13.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Sequence comparison of Hoxd-13 among vertebrates revealed the presence of taxon-specific polyalanine tracts in amniotes. To investigate their function at the organismal level, we replaced the wild-type Hoxd-13 gene with one lacking the 15-residue polyalanine tract by using homologous recombination. Sesamoid bone formation in knock-in mice was different from that in the wild type; this was observed not only in the homozygotes but also in the heterozygotes. The present study provides the first direct evidence that taxon-specific homopolymeric amino acid repeats are involved in phenotypic diversification at the organismal level.

PMID:
17065594
DOI:
10.1093/molbev/msl161
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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