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FEBS Lett. 2007 Nov 27;581(28):5526-32. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

Phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis of the septin protein family in metazoan.

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State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, PR China.


Septins, a conserved family of cytoskeletal GTP-binding proteins, were presented in diverse eukaryotes. Here, a comprehensive phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis for septin proteins in metazoan was carried out. First, we demonstrated that all septin proteins in metazoan could be clustered into four subgroups, and the representative homologue of every subgroup was presented in the non-vertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis, indicating that the emergence of the four septin subgroups should have occurred prior to divergence of vertebrates and invertebrates, and the expansion of the septin gene number in vertebrates was mainly by the duplication of pre-existing genes rather than by the appearance of new septin subgroup. Second, the direct orthologues of most human septins existed in zebrafish, which suggested that human septin gene repertoire was mainly formed by as far as before the split between fishes and land vertebrates. Third, we found that the evolutionary rate within septin family in mammalian lineage varies significantly, human SEPT1, SEPT 10, SEPT 12, and SEPT 14 displayed a relative elevated evolutionary rate compared with other septin members. Our data will provide new insights for the further function study of this protein family.

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