Inst. f. Informatik   
Uni Leipzig

Bioinformatics Preprint 05-007

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Evolution of the Vertebrate Parahox Clusters

Sonja J. Prohaska, Peter F. Stadler

ECCB 2005

Motivation: The ParaHox cluster contains three \emph{Hox}-related homeobox genes. The evolution of this sister of the \emph{Hox}-gene clusters has been studied extensively in metazoans with a focus on its early evolution. Its fate within the vertebrate lineage, and in particular following the teleost-specific genome duplication, however, has not received much attention.
Results: Three of the four human ParaHox loci are linked with PDGFR family tyrosine kinases. We demonstrate that these loci arose duplications in an ancestral vertebrate and trace the subsequent histroy of gene losses. Surprisingly, teleost fishes have not expanded their ParaHox repertoire following the teleost-specific genome duplication, while duplicates of the associated tyrosine kinases have survived, supporting the hypothesis of a large scale duplication followed by extensive gene loss.

Keywords: ParaHox, cdx, xlox, gsx, tyrosine receptor kinases, PDGFR, VEGFR genome duplication

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