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J Mol Biol. 1984 Dec 25;180(4):767-84.

Isolation and nucleotide sequence analysis of the beta-type globin pseudogene from human, gorilla and chimpanzee.


The beta-globin gene cluster of human, gorilla and chimpanzee contain the same number and organization of beta-type globin genes: 5'-epsilon (embryonic)-G gamma and A gamma (fetal)-psi beta (inactive)-delta and beta (adult)-3'. We have isolated the psi beta-globin gene regions from the three species and determined their nucleotide sequences. These three pseudogenes each share the same substitutions in the initiator codon (ATG----GTA), a substitution in codon 15 which generates a termination signal TGG----TGA, nucleotide deletion in codon 20 and the resulting frame shift which yields many termination signals in exons 2 and 3. The basic structure of these psi beta-globin genes, however, remains consistent with that found for functional beta-globin genes: their coding regions are split by two introns, IVS 1 (which splits codon 30, 121 base-pairs in length) and IVS 2 (which splits codon 104, 840 to 844 base-pairs in length). These introns retain the normal splice junctions found in other eukaryotic split genes. The three hominoid psi beta-globin genes show a high degree of sequence correspondence, with the number of differences found among them being only about one-third of that predicted for DNA sites evolving at the neutral rate (i.e. for sites evolving in the absence of purifying selection). Thus, there appears to be a deceleration in the rate of evolution of the psi beta-globin locus in higher primates.

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