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J Insect Physiol. 2007 Mar;53(3):246-53. Epub 2006 Oct 29.

Drosophila melanogaster Methoprene-tolerant (Met) gene homologs from three mosquito species: Members of PAS transcriptional factor family.

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Department of Entomology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The Methoprene-tolerant (Met) gene in Drosophila melanogaster has been shown to function in juvenile hormone (JH) action. Met homologs were isolated from three mosquito species, Culex pipiens, Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae. Sequence similarity was found to be high in bHLH and PAS conserved domains, and the majority of the 7-9 introns in AaMet and AgMet are located in either identical or similar positions, indicating evolutionary relatedness. Sequence comparison with Met and the similar germ-cell expressed (gce) gene in D. melanogaster showed that the mosquito genes are more similar to gce than to Met. Moreover, the multiple introns in AgMet and AaMet are more similar in number with the 7 introns in Dmgce than to the single intron in DmMet; in fact, six intron positions in AaMet and AgMet are similar to those in Dmgce. Efforts to identify a second homologous gene in mosquitoes were unsuccessful, suggesting a single gene in lower Diptera, consistent with the single gene uncovered in genomic sequencing of Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae. These results suggest that a gene duplication occurred during the evolution of higher Diptera, resulting in Met and gce.

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