PubMed 17553638

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir7.1 , Kv10.1

Title: Functional diversification of kir7.1 in cichlids accelerated by gene duplication.

Authors: Masakatsu Watanabe, Kazue Hiraide, Norihiro Okada

Journal, date & volume: Gene, 2007 Sep 1 , 399, 46-52

PubMed link:

Mutation in the inward rectifier potassium channel gene, kir7.1, was previously identified as being responsible for the broader stripe zebrafish skin pattern mutant, jaguar/obelix. An amino acid substitution in this channel causes a broader stripe pattern than that of wild type zebrafish. In this study we analyzed cichlid homologs of the zebrafish kir7.1 gene. We identified two kinds of homologous genes in cichlids and named them cikir7.1 and cikir7.2. Southern hybridization using cichlid genome revealed that cichlids from the African Great Lakes, South America and Madagascar have two copies of the gene. Cichlids from Sri Lanka, however, showed only one band in this experiment. Database analysis revealed that only one copy of the kir7.1 gene exists in the genomes of the teleosts zebrafish, tetraodon, takifugu, medaka and stickleback. The deduced amino acid sequence of cikir7.1 is highly conserved among African cichlids, whereas that of cikir7.2 has several amino acid substitutions even in conserved transmembrane domains. Gene expression analysis revealed that cikir7.1 is expressed specifically in brain and eye, and cikir7.2 in testis and ovary; zebrafish kir7.1, however, is expressed in brain, eye, skin, caudal fin, testis and ovary. These results suggest that gene duplication of the cichlid kir7.1 occurred in a common ancestor of the family Cichlidae, that the function of parental kir7.1 was then divided into two genes, cikir7.1 and cikir7.2, and that the evolutionary rate of cikir7.2 might have been accelerated, thereby effecting functional diversification in the cichlid lineage. Thus, the evolution of kir7.1 genes in cichlids provides a typical example of gene duplication--one gene is conserved while the other becomes specialized for a novel function.