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Genomics. 1996 Apr 15;33(2):229-46.

Complete nucleotide sequences of the domestic cat (Felis catus) mitochondrial genome and a transposed mtDNA tandem repeat (Numt) in the nuclear genome.

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Biological Carcinogenesis and Development Program, SAIC Frederick, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Maryland, USA.


The complete 17,009-bp mitochondrial genome of the domestic cat, Felis catus, has been sequenced and conforms largely to the typical organization of previously characterized mammalian mtDNAs. Codon usage and base composition also followed canonical vertebrate patterns, except for an unusual ATC (non-AUG) codon initiating the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) gene. Two distinct repetitive motifs at opposite ends of the control region contribute to the relatively large size (1559 bp) of this carnivore mtDNA. Alignment of the feline mtDNA genome to a homologous 7946-bp nuclear mtDNA tandem repeat DNA sequence in the cat, Numt, indicates simple repeat motifs associated with insertion/deletion mutations. Overall DNA sequence divergence between Numt and cytoplasmic mtDNA sequence was only 5.1%. Substitutions predominate at the third codon position of homologous feline protein genes. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial gene sequences confirms the recent transfer of the cytoplasmic mtDNA sequences to the domestic cat nucleus and recapitulates evolutionary relationships between mammal species.

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