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An evolutionary analysis of the Surfeit genes and their genomic environments

Gilley, Jonathan Nicholas; (1999) An evolutionary analysis of the Surfeit genes and their genomic environments. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The Surfeit locus describes a compact cluster of six sequence-unrelated housekeeping genes (Surf-1 to Surf-6). It has been postulated that the unique organisation of the cluster may underlie regulatory interactions between the genes. The Surfeit locus is conserved between human, mouse and chicken, but Surfeit genes are widely distributed in some invertebrate genomes. Linkage of the Surfeit genes in the genome of the puffer fish Fugu rubripes has been investigated in this study to assess whether clustering of the genes is conserved in lower vertebrates. The six genes are located in three distinct regions of the Fugu genome and, excepting the Surf-1-Surf-3/rpL7a linkage, the relative order and/or orientation of linked Fugu Surfeit genes is different to that in higher vertebrates. Additional gene order differences within regions of conserved synteny between Fugu and human chromosome band 9q34 have been found following comparative mapping of seven other genes that are linked to the Surfeit genes in the Fugu genome. Of the thirteen genes that have been comparatively mapped, conserved gene order spanning three genes is not found and some genes that are closely linked in Fugu are separated by at least 2-4 Mb in human. It is hypothesised that these differences are probably largely due to extensive intra- chromosomal rearrangements. The utility of Fugu to facilitate human disease gene identification by comparative positional cloning is also questioned in light of these results. More specifically, these results suggest that the Surfeit locus probably arose during a restricted vertebrate lineage and that any biological significance associated with Surfeit gene clustering is restricted to higher vertebrates. In addition, two small nucleolar RNA species, U24 and U36, have been identified as being encoded within introns of the Surf-3/rpL7a gene in vertebrates and characterisation of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Surf-4 gene homologue and its encoded product has been initiated.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An evolutionary analysis of the Surfeit genes and their genomic environments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Gene clustering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111091
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