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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/74270

Type: Journal article
Title: Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes
Author: Hrdlickova, R.
Nehyba, J.
Lim, S.
Grutzner, F.
Bose, H.
Citation: BMC Genomics, 2012; 13(1):2-38
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1471-2164
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Radmila Hrdličková, Jiří Nehyba, Shu Ly Lim, Frank Grützner, Henry R Bose Jr
Abstract: Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT) ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in rayfinned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes.
Keywords: Platypus; TERT; Telomerase; Alternative splicing; Telomeres; Sex chromosomes
Rights: © 2012 Hrdličková et al. ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
RMID: 0020122077
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-216
Appears in Collections:Environment Institute Leaders publications
Molecular and Biomedical Science publications
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