RRC ID 3371
Author Hare EE, Loer CM.
Title Function and evolution of the serotonin-synthetic bas-1 gene and other aromatic amino acid decarboxylase genes in Caenorhabditis.
Journal BMC Evol. Biol.
Abstract BACKGROUND:Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzymes catalyze the synthesis of biogenic amines, including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, throughout the animal kingdom. These neurotransmitters typically perform important functions in both the nervous system and other tissues, as illustrated by the debilitating conditions that arise from their deficiency. Studying the regulation and evolution of AADC genes is therefore desirable to further our understanding of how nervous systems function and evolve.
RESULTS:In the nematode C. elegans, the bas-1 gene is required for both serotonin and dopamine synthesis, and maps genetically near two AADC-homologous sequences. We show by transformation rescue and sequencing of mutant alleles that bas-1 encodes an AADC enzyme. Expression of a reporter construct in transgenics suggests that the bas-1 gene is expressed, as expected, in identified serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. The bas-1 gene is one of six AADC-like sequences in the C. elegans genome, including a duplicate that is immediately downstream of the bas-1 gene. Some of the six AADC genes are quite similar to known serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic AADC's from other organisms whereas others are divergent, suggesting previously unidentified functions. In comparing the AADC genes of C. elegans with those of the congeneric C. briggsae, we find only four orthologous AADC genes in C. briggsae. Two C. elegans AADC genes - those most similar to bas-1 - are missing from C. briggsae. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that one or both of these bas-1-like genes were present in the common ancestor of C. elegans and C. briggsae, and were retained in the C. elegans line, but lost in the C. briggsae line. Further analysis of the two bas-1-like genes in C. elegans suggests that they are unlikely to encode functional enzymes, and may be expressed pseudogenes.
CONCLUSIONS:The bas-1 gene of C. elegans encodes a serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic AADC enzyme. Two C. elegans AADC-homologous genes that are closely related to bas-1 are missing from the congeneric C. briggsae; one or more these genes was present in the common ancestor of C. elegans and C. briggsae. Despite their persistence in C. elegans, evidence suggests the bas-1-like genes do not encode functional AADC proteins. The presence of the genes in C. elegans raises questions about how many 'predicted genes' in sequenced genomes are functional, and how duplicate genes are retained or lost during evolution. This is another example of unexpected retention of duplicate genes in eukaryotic genomes.
Volume 4
Pages 24
Published 2004-8-2
DOI 10.1186/1471-2148-4-24
PII 1471-2148-4-24
PMID 15287963
PMC PMC514703
MeSH 3' Flanking Region / genetics Amino Acid Sequence / genetics Animals Animals, Genetically Modified / genetics Aromatic-L-Amino-Acid Decarboxylases / genetics* Base Sequence / genetics Caenorhabditis / enzymology Caenorhabditis / genetics Caenorhabditis elegans / enzymology* Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / biosynthesis Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology Evolution, Molecular* Genes, Reporter / genetics Genetic Complementation Test / methods Green Fluorescent Proteins / biosynthesis Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics Male Molecular Sequence Data Mutation / genetics Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid Transcription, Genetic / genetics
IF 3.027
Times Cited 19
WOS Category GENETICS & HEREDITY EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Resource
C.elegans tm351