, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 71–83 | Cite as

Gene structure and evolution of transthyretin in the order Chiroptera

  • Jiraporn Khwanmunee
  • Ladda Leelawatwattana
  • Porntip Prapunpoj


Bats are mammals in the order Chiroptera. Although many extensive morphologic and molecular genetics analyses have been attempted, phylogenetic relationships of bats has not been completely resolved. The paraphyly of microbats is of particular controversy that needs to be confirmed. In this study, we attempted to use the nucleotide sequence of transthyretin (TTR) intron 1 to resolve the relationship among bats. To explore its utility, the complete sequences of TTR gene and intron 1 region of bats in Vespertilionidae: genus Eptesicus (Eptesicus fuscus) and genus Myotis (Myotis brandtii, Myotis davidii, and Myotis lucifugus), and Pteropodidae (Pteropus alecto and Pteropus vampyrus) were extracted from the retrieved sequences, whereas those of Rhinoluphus affinis and Scotophilus kuhlii were amplified and sequenced. The derived overall amino sequences of bat TTRs were found to be very similar to those in other eutherians but differed from those in other classes of vertebrates. However, missing of amino acids from N-terminal or C-terminal region was observed. The phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences suggested bat and other eutherian TTRs lineal descent from a single most recent common ancestor which differed from those of non-placental mammals and the other classes of vertebrates. The splicing of bat TTR precursor mRNAs was similar to those of other eutherian but different from those of marsupial, bird, reptile and amphibian. Based on TTR intron 1 sequence, the inferred evolutionary relationship within Chiroptera revealed more closely relatedness of R. affinis to megabats than to microbats. Accordingly, the paraphyly of microbats was suggested.


Chiroptera Evolution Intron Phylogenetic Splicing Transthyretin 





Maximum likelihood


Moloney murine leukemia virus reverse transcriptase


Maximum parsimony








Thyroxine-binding globulin


Thyroid hormones


Thyroid hormone distributor proteins





This work was supported by the National Research Council of Thailand, Prince of Songkla University, the Office of the Higher Education Commission (the Strategic Scholarships Fellowships Frontier Research Networks), and the Excellent Biochemistry Program Fund of Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 31 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 122 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 207 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 134 kb)
10709_2015_9879_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (328 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 327 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiraporn Khwanmunee
    • 1
  • Ladda Leelawatwattana
    • 1
  • Porntip Prapunpoj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of SciencePrince of Songkla UniversityHat YaiThailand

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