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Origins and regulation of an eutherian novelty: the BGW cluster

AuthorsNavas, Enrique; Burguera, Demian; Vicente-García, Cristina; Ferrán, José Luis; Irimia, Manuel; Carvajal, Jaime J. ; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi
Issue Date2016
PublisherSociedad Española de Biología Celular
Citation11th Meeting SEBD (2016)
AbstractTwo related gene subfamilies known as BEX and TCEAL (also known as WEX) map to a genomic region specific to Eutheria (placental mammals), located on the X chromosome. These families are part of a gene cluster, named BGW cluster, together with the ARMCX family and HNRNPH2. Some of the BEX/TCEAL genes have been related to control the balance between proliferation and differentiation, while others promote apoptosis in a p75-dependent manner, but most of them remain poorly studied. The ARMCX family and HNRNPH2 are derived from retrocopies of the ARMC10 and HNRNPH1 genes respectively conserved across bilateria, and located in autosomal chromosomes?, whereas no orthologs have been found for the BEX/TCEAL family outside of Eutheria. However, all these genes share an intriguing feature: a sequence motif in their proximal promoter region that appears to be crucial for their expression, the BGW motif. To further understand the evolution of this gene cluster, we investigated the origin of the BEX/TCEAL genes and traced it to an atypical formation in the ancestor of eutherians. Furthermore, novel features associated with BEX/TCEAL suggest a more complete scenario for the origin of the cluster: the BGW motif was already present at the HNRNPH2 locus in the ancestor of therian mammals, being subsequently duplicated and coopted in the eutherian lineage by the BEX/TCEAL ancestor and, posteriorly, by the ARMCX ancestral gene. Finally, we also studied the expression of the BEX/TCEAL genes during mouse development using in situ hybridization. We found that they are highly expressed in the brain and placenta, which are structures that require a well-tuned control of cell cycle during their development in eutherian mammals. Here we propose a scenario for the origin of the BEX/TCEAL family and for the formation of the BGW cluster where they belong. Their uncommon origin, their pattern of expression, and their putative biological function during development makes these genes an interesting subject of study to understand how lineage-specific genes could contribute to mammalian evolution.
DescriptionResumen del póster presentado al 11th Meeting of the Spanish Society for Developmental Biology, celebrado en Girona (España) del 19 al 21 de octubre de 2016.-- et al.
Appears in Collections:(CABD) Comunicaciones congresos
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