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Gene. 2008 Feb 15;409(1-2):61-71. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.11.011. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Birth and death of neuropeptide Y receptor genes in relation to the teleost fish tetraploidization.

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Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Box 593, SE-75124 Uppsala, Sweden.


Extensive evidence exists for a genome duplication in the fish lineage leading to the species-rich clade of the teleosts, comprising > 99% of the known actinopterygian (ray-finned) fish species. Our previous studies of the neuropeptide Y receptor (NPYR) gene family suggested an ancestral gnathostome repertoire of 7 genes in 3 subfamilies. However, studies in the zebrafish have earlier identified only 5 NPYR genes, despite the expected increase in gene number due to the teleost tetraploidization. Notably, receptors Y(1), Y(5) and Y(6) were missing in the zebrafish genome database and only Y(8) had been duplicated. We report here an investigation of the evolutionary history of the Y(1) subfamily (Y(1), Y(4), Y(6) and Y(8)) and the Y(5) receptor. Seven basal actinopterygian species and a shark were investigated and a total of 22 gene fragments were cloned and analyzed. Our results show that subtypes Y(1), Y(5) and Y(6) still exist in species representing basal actinopterygian lineages (bichir, sturgeon, gar and bowfin) as well as in some basal teleost lineages. Surprisingly we identified a zebrafish Y(1) receptor, the first Y(1) receptor found in euteleosts. Thus, these findings confirm the ancestral gnathostome repertoire of 7 NPYR genes and show that many of these receptors are present in basal actinopterygians as well as some basal teleosts. NPYR losses seem to have occurred relatively recently in euteleosts because Y(1), Y(5) and Y(6) are absent in the genome databases of two pufferfishes as well as medaka and stickleback and Y(5) and Y(6) are absent in the zebrafish database. A duplicate of Y(8) seems to be the only remaining receptor gene resulting from the teleost tetraploidization. The unexpected absence of the two appetite-stimulating receptors Y(1) and Y(5) in some euteleosts, along with our discovery of duplicates of the peptide ligands NPY and PYY, has implications for the role of the NPY system in euteleost feeding behavior.

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