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Biol Reprod. 2012 Apr 27;86(4):123. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.111.097964. Print 2012 Apr.

ACP5 (Uteroferrin): phylogeny of an ancient and conserved gene expressed in the endometrium of mammals.

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Department of Animal Sciences and DH Barron Reproductive and Perinatal Biology Research Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0910, USA.


Type 5 acid phosphatase (ACP5; also known as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase or uteroferrin) is a metalloprotein secreted by the endometrial glandular epithelium of pigs, mares, sheep, and water buffalo. In this paper, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of endometrial expression of ACP5 and demonstrate that endometrial expression arose early in evolution (i.e., before divergence of prototherian and therian mammals ~166 million years ago). To determine expression of ACP5 in the pregnant endometrium, RNA was isolated from rhesus, mouse, rat, dog, sheep, cow, horse, armadillo, opossum, and duck-billed platypus. Results from RT-PCR and RNA-Seq experiments confirmed that ACP5 is expressed in all species examined. ACP5 was also demonstrated immunochemically in endometrium of rhesus, marmoset, sheep, cow, goat, and opossum. Alignment of inferred amino acid sequences shows a high conservation of ACP5 throughout speciation, with species-specific differences most extensive in the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein. Analysis by Selecton indicated that most of the sites in ACP5 are undergoing purifying selection, and no sites undergoing positive selection were found. In conclusion, endometrial expression of ACP5 is a common feature in all orders of mammals and has been subjected to purifying selection. Expression of ACP5 in the uterus predates the divergence of therians and prototherians. ACP5 is an evolutionary conserved gene that likely exerts a common function important for pregnancy in mammals using a wide range of reproductive strategies.

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