Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Evol. 1991 Nov;8(6):743-52.

Evolutionary rate of immunoglobulin alpha noncoding region is greater in hominoids than in Old World monkeys.

Author information

Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Recent studies on the molecular evolution of primates show that the evolutionary rate among hominoids is considerably slower than that among nonhominoid primates. However, this observation at the nucleotide-sequence level is restricted to the beta-globin family region. In this study, we sequenced orthologous immunoglobulin alpha (C alpha) genes of chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and crab-eating macaque (an Old World monkey) and compared them with that of the human by using noncoding regions for analysis. Since significant differences in rates among hominoids were not found by using the relative rate test, we evaluated the ratio (R) of the evolutionary distance between Old World monkey and human to the distance between orangutan and human. The R value (1.12) for the C alpha gene was much smaller than the expected value (1.38-2.33), showing that the nucleotide substitution rate (= mutation rate per year under selective neutrality) of the C alpha gene is greater in the human lineage than in the Old World monkey lineage. We also did a similar analysis for the gamma 1-, gamma 2-, psi eta-, and delta-globin genes and found a considerable heterogeneity (1.12-2.37) among the R values, including that for the C alpha gene. This indicates that the hominoid slowdown of the evolutionary rate is not a universal phenomenon in primate evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center