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Genomics. 2009 Mar;93(3):254-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Dec 4.

Neuropeptide Y-family peptides and receptors in the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii confirm gene duplications before the gnathostome radiation.

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Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


We describe here the repertoire of neuropeptide Y (NPY) peptides and receptors in the elephant shark Callorhinchus milii, belonging to the chondrichthyans that diverged from the rest of the gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) lineage about 450 million years ago and the first chondrichthyan with a genome project. We have identified two peptide genes that are orthologous to NPY and PYY (peptide YY) in other vertebrates, and seven receptor genes orthologous to the Y1, Y2, Y4, Y5, Y6, Y7 and Y8 subtypes found in tetrapods and teleost fishes. The repertoire of peptides and receptors seems to reflect the ancestral configuration in the predecessor of all gnathostomes, whereas other lineages such as mammals and teleosts have lost one or more receptor genes or have acquired 1-2 additional peptide genes. Both the peptides and receptors showed broad and overlapping mRNA expression which may explain why some receptor gene losses could take place in some lineages, but leaves open the question why all the known ancestral receptors have been retained in the elephant shark.

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