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J Mol Evol. 1997 Jul;45(1):60-5.

Evidence for multiple functional copies of the male sex-determining locus, Sry, in African murine rodents.

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Museum of Zoology and Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079, USA.


Southern hybridization data suggest that the male sex-determining locus, Sry, is often duplicated in rodents. Here we explore DNA sequence evolution of orthologous and paralogous copies of Sry isolated from six species of African murines. PCR amplification followed by direct sequencing revealed from two to four copies of Sry per species. All copies include a long open reading frame, with a stop codon that coincides closely with the stop codon of the house mouse, Mus musculus, a species known to have a single copy of Sry. A phylogenetic analysis suggests that there are at least seven paralogous copies of Sry in this group of rodents. Putative orthologues are identical; sequence divergence among putative paralogues ranges from 1 to 8% (excluding the CAG repeat), with much lower levels of divergence in the high-mobility group (HMG-box) region than in the C-terminal region. A high proportion of nucleotide substitutions in both regions result in amino-acid replacement. The long open reading frame, conserved HMG-box, and pattern of evolution of the putative paralogues suggest that they are functional.

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