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    The study of the evolutionary history of genes related to human disease lies at the interface of evolution and medicine. These studies provide the evolutionary context on which medical researchers should work, and are also useful in providing information to suggest further genetic experiments, especially in model species where genetic manipulations can be made. Here we studied the evolution of the β-adrenoreceptor gene family in vertebrates with the aim of adding an evolutionary framework to the already abundant physiological information. Our results show that in addition to the three already described vertebrate β-adrenoreceptor genes there is an additional group containing cyclostome sequences. We suggest that β-adrenoreceptors diversified as a product of the two whole genome duplications that occurred in the ancestor of vertebrates. Gene expression patterns are in general consistent across species, suggesting that expression dynamics were established early in the evolutionary history of vertebrates, and have been maintained since then. Finally, amino acid polymorphisms that are associated to pathological conditions in humans appear to be common in non-human mammals, suggesting that the phenotypic effects of these mutations depend on epistatic interaction with other positions. The evolutionary analysis of the β-adrenoreceptors delivers new insights about the diversity of these receptors in vertebrates, the evolution of the expression patterns and a comparative perspective regarding the polymorphisms that in humans are linked to pathological conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Kattina Zavala, Michael W Vandewege, Federico G Hoffmann, Juan C Opazo. Evolution of the β-adrenoreceptors in vertebrates. General and comparative endocrinology. 2017 Jan 01;240:129-137

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    PMID: 27769631

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