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Diversification and independent evolution of troponin C genes in insects

AuthorsHerranz, Raúl ; Mateos, Jesús; Marco, Roberto
KeywordsTroponinC independent
Issue DateJan-2005
CitationJournal of Molecular EvolutionVolume 60(1): 31-44 (2005)
AbstractTroponin C (TpnC), the calcium-binding subunit of the troponin regulatory complex in the muscle thin filament, is encoded by multiple genes in insects. To understand how TpnC genes have evolved, we characterized the gene number and structure in a number of insect species. The TpnC gene complement is five genes in Drosophilidae as previously reported for D. melanogaster. Gene structures are almost identical in D. pseudoobscura, D. suboboscura, and D. virilis. Developmental patterns of expression are also conserved in Drosophila subobscura and D. virilis. Similar, but not completely equivalent, TpnC gene repertoires have been identified in the Anopheles gambiae and Apis mellifera genomes. Insect TpnC sequences can be divided into three groups, allowing a systematic classification of newly identified genes. The pattern of expression of the Apis mellifera genes essentially agrees with the pattern in Drosophilidae, providing further functional support to the classification. A model for the evolution of the TpnC genes is proposed including the most likely pathway of insect TpnC diversification. Our results suggest that the rapid increase in number and sequence specialization of the adult Type III isoforms can be correlated with the evolution of the holometabolous mode of development and the acquisition of asynchronous indirect flight muscle function in insects. This evolutionarily specialization has probably been achieved independently in different insect orders.
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