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Coevolution of a ligand and its receptor is critical for maintaining their function in different species, but how ligand and its receptor coevolve is poorly understood. The axon guidance molecule Netrin and its receptor Frazzled (Fra) are useful to study the mechanisms of ligand-receptor coevolution. Here, we have applied codon substitution models to identify positive selection of the netrin and fra genes. The sites under positive selection in netrin and fra were detected in same lineage, such as nematode, dipteran, hymenopteran, hemichordate, and teleost. Several amino acid residues that are under positive selection were identified in the interaction domains. Here we provide evidence that positive selection is essential for the coevolution of Netrin and Fra during central nervous system evolution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ling Huang, Xiao Zhao, Qi Yu, Wei-Zheng Cui, Qing-Xin Liu. Evidence for the coevolution of axon guidance molecule Netrin and its receptor Frazzled. Gene. 2014 Jul 1;544(1):25-31

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PMID: 24746635

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