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Immunogenetics August 1, 2000; 51 (10): 856-62.

Evolutionary history of the Rh blood group-related genes in vertebrates.

Kitano T , Saitou N .

Rh and its homologous Rh50 gene products are considered to form heterotetramers on erythrocyte membranes. Rh protein has Rh blood group antigen sites, while Rh50 protein does not, and is more conserved than Rh protein. We previously determined both Rh and Rh50 gene cDNA coding regions from mouse and rat, and carried out phylogenetic analyses. In this study, we determined Rh50 gene cDNA coding regions from African clawed frog and Japanese medaka fish, and examined the long-term evolution of the Rh blood group and related genes. We constructed the phylogenetic tree from amino acid sequences. Rh50 genes of African clawed frog and Japanese medaka fish formed a cluster with mammalian Rh50 genes. The gene duplication time between Rh and Rh50 genes was estimated to be about 510 million years ago based on this tree. This period roughly corresponds to the Cambrian, before the divergence between jawless fish and jawed vertebrates. We also BLAST-searched an amino acid sequence database, and the Rh blood group and related genes were found to have homology with ammonium transporter genes of many organisms. Ammonium transporter genes can be classified into two major groups (amt alpha and amt beta). Both groups contain genes from three domains (bacteria, archaea, and eukaryota). The Rh blood group and related genes are separated from both amt alpha and beta groups.

PubMed ID: 10970100
Article link: Immunogenetics

Genes referenced: rhagl

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