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EMBO J. 1989 Apr;8(4):1183-90.

Conservation of the paired domain in metazoans and its structure in three isolated human genes.

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Department of Cell Biology, Biocenter of the University, Basel, Switzerland.


Sequences homologous to the paired domain of Drosophila melanogaster have been conserved in species as distantly related as nematodes, sea urchins, or man. In particular, paired domains of three human genes, HuP1, HuP2 and HuP48, have been isolated and sequenced. Together with four Drosophila paired domains, they fall into two separate paired domain classes named according to their Drosophila members, paired--gooseberry and P29 class. The P29 class includes the mouse Pax 1 and the human HuP48 gene which are nearly identical in their sequenced portions and hence might be true homologues. In addition to the paired domain, the two human genes HuP1 and HuP2 share the highly conserved octapeptide HSIAGILG with the two gooseberry genes of Drosophila. Possible functions of the paired domain are discussed in the light of a predicted helix-turn-helix structure in its carboxy-terminal portion.

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