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Mamm Genome. 1995 Jun;6(6):408-14.

Evolution of a repeat sequence in the parathyroid hormone-related peptide gene in primates.

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Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Mamm Genome 1995 Sep;6(9):691.


A polymorphism of the variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) type is located 97 bp downstream of exon VI of the parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) gene in humans. The repeat unit has the general sequence G(TA)nC, where n equals 4-11. In order to characterize the evolutionary history of this VNTR, we initially tested for its presence in 13 different species representing four main groups of living primates. The sequence is present in the human, great apes, and Old World monkeys, but not in New World monkeys; and this region failed to PCR amplify in the Loris group. Thus, the evolution of the sequence as part of the PTHrP gene started at least 25-35 millions years ago, after divergence of the Old World and New World monkeys, but before divergence of Old World monkeys and great apes and humans. The structural changes occurring during evolution are characterized by a relatively high degree of sequence divergence. In general, the tandem repeat region tends to be longer and more complex in higher primates with the repeat unit motifs all being based on a TA-dinucleotide repeat sequence. Intra-species variability of the locus was demonstrated only in humans and gorilla. The divergence of the TA-dinucleotide repeat sequence and the variable mutation rates observed in different primate species are in contrast to the relative conservation of the flanking sequences during primate evolution. This suggests that the nature of the TA-dinucleotide repeat sequence, rather than its flanking sequences, is responsible for generating variability.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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