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J Mol Biol. 1986 Feb 5;187(3):325-40.

Structure and evolution of the apolipoprotein multigene family.


We present the complementary DNA and deduced amino acid sequence of rat apolipoprotein A-II (apoA-II), and the results of a detailed statistical analysis of the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of all the apolipoprotein gene sequences published to date: namely, those of human and rat apoA-I, apoA-II and apoE, rat apoA-IV, and human apoC-I, C-II and C-III. Our results indicate that the apolipoprotein genes have very similar genomic structures, each having a total of three introns at the same locations. Using the exon/intron junctions as reference points, we have obtained an alignment of the coding regions of all the genes studied. It appears that the mature peptide regions of these genes are almost completely made up of tandem repeats of 11 codons. The part of mature peptide region encoded by exon 3 contains a common block of 33 codons, whereas the part encoded by exon 4 contains a much more variable number of internal repeats of 11 codons. These genes have apparently evolved from a primordial gene through multiple partial (internal) and complete gene duplications. On the basis of the degree of homology of the various sequences, and the pattern of the internal repeats in these genes, we propose an evolutionary tree for the apolipoprotein genes and give rough estimates of the divergence times between these genes. Our results show that apoA-II has evolved extremely rapidly and that apoA-I and apoE also have evolved at high rates but some regions are better conserved than the others. The rate of evolution of individual regions seems to be related to the stringency of their functional requirements.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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