Wang, W; Zhang, JM; Alvarez, C; Llopart, A; Long, M
The origin of the Jingwei gene and the complex modular structure of its parental gene, yellow emperor, in Drosophila melanogaster
Teil von
  • Molecular biology and evolution, 2000-09-01, Vol.17 (9), p.1294-1301
Ort / Verlag
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Oxford Journals Open Access Collection
Jingwei (igM) is the first gene found to be of sufficiently recent origin in Drosophila to offer insights into the origin of a gene. While its chimerical gene structure was partially resolved as including a retrosequence of alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh), the structure of its non-Adh parental gene, the donor of the N-terminal domain of jgw: is unclear. We characterized this non-Adh parental locus, yellow emperor (ymp), by cloning it, mapping it onto the polytene chromosomes, sequencing the entire locus, and examining its expression patterns in Drosophila melanogaster. We show that ymp is located in the 96-E region; the N-terminal domain of ymp, has donated the non-Adh portion of jgw via a duplication. The similar 5' portions of the gene and its regulatory sequences give rise to similar testis-specific expression patterns in ymp and jgw in Drosophila teissieri. Furthermore, between-species comparison of ymp, revealed purifying selection in the protein sequence, suggesting a functional constraint in ymp. While the structure of ymp provides clear information for the molecular origin of the new gene jgw, it unexpectedly casts a new light on the concept of genes. We found, for the first time, that the single locus of the ymp gene encompasses three major molecular mechanisms determining structure of eukaryotic genes: (1) the 5' exons of pmp are involved in an exon-shuffling event that has created the portion recruited by jgw; (2) using alternative cleavage sites and alternative splicing sites, the 3' exon groups of ymp produce two proteins with nonhomologous C-terminal domains, both exclusively in the testis; and (3) in the opposite strand of the third intron of ymp is an essential gene, musashi (msi), which encodes an RNA-binding protein. The composite gene structure of ymp manifests the complexity of the gene concept, which should be considered in genomic research, e.g., gene finding.

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