Episodic evolution of prolactin gene in primates
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In the present study, we obtained exon 2–5 of prolactin (PRL) gene from four primate species by PCR and sequencing. Adding other genes available in GenBank, we calculate amino acid substitution rates for prolactin gene in primate. Comparison of nonsynonymous substitution rate to synonymous substitution rate ratios shows no evidence of positive selection for any lineage of primate prolactin gene. According to this and the facts that (i) no sites under positive selection are inferred by using maximum-likelihood method; (ii) among 32 amino acid replacement that occurred along the rapid evolutionary phase, only two are included in the 40 functionally important residues, indicating that amino acid replacement tends to occur in those functionally unimportant residues; (iii) partial of prolactin function is replaced by placental lactogen in primate at the rapid evolutionary phase of prolactin gene, we thus deem that it is relaxation of purifying selection to some extent rather than positive selection that enforces the rapid evolution of primate prolactin gene.
Keywordsprolactin primate evolution
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