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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences




Members of the disintegrin metalloproteinase (ADAM) family have important functions in regulating cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions as well as cell signaling. There are two major types of ADAMs: the somatic ADAMs (sADAMs) that have a significant presence in somatic tissues, and the testicular ADAMs (tADAMs) that are expressed predominantly in the testis. Genes encoding tADAMs can be further divided into two groups: group I (intronless) and group II (intron-containing). To date, tAdams have only been reported in placental mammals, and their evolutionary origin and relationship to sAdams remain largely unknown. Using phylogenetic and syntenic tools, we analyzed the Adam genes in various vertebrates ranging from fishes to placental mammals. Our analyses reveal duplication and loss of some sAdams in certain vertebrate species. In particular, there exists an Adam9-like gene in non-mammalian vertebrates but not mammals. We also identified putative group I and group II tAdams in all amniote species that have been examined. These tAdam homologues are more closely related to Adams 9 and 9-like than to other sAdams. In all amniote species examined, group II tAdamslie in close vicinity to Adam9 and hence likely arose from tandem duplication, whereas group I tAdams likely originated through retroposition because of their lack of introns. Clusters of multiple group I tAdams are also common, suggesting tandem duplication after retroposition. Therefore, Adam9/9-like and some of the derived tAdam loci are likely preferred targets for tandem duplication and/or retroposition. Consistent with this hypothesis, we identified a young retroposed gene that duplicated recently from Adam9 in the opossum. As a result of gene duplication, some tAdams were pseudogenized in certain species, whereas others acquired new expression patterns and functions. The rapid duplication of Adam genes has a major contribution to the diversity of ADAMs in various vertebrate species.

Source Citation

Bahudhanapati H, Bhattacharya S, Wei S (2015) Evolution of Vertebrate Adam Genes; Duplication of Testicular Adams from Ancient Adam9/9-like Loci. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0136281.


© 2015 Bahudhanapati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited



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