The draft genomic sequence of the Japanese puffer fish, Fugu rubripes, has now been announced. This is the first complete sequence of a teleost fish and the second available vertebrate sequence, the first being that of human. For the first time, whole-genome comparisons between two vertebrates can be undertaken. Early analysis has suggested that there may be surprising differences in gene regulation between human and fish. In mammals, a gene commonly has several functions, and this may not always be the case in fish. Many gene families comprise more members in fish than they do in mammals, possibly because each fish gene has evolved an individual function. Complexities of gene regulation in mammals has hampered studies of all biological processes from cell proliferation to cell death. Determining the activities of the AP1 transcription factor proteins has been non-trivial. The AP1 complex typically comprises two proteins, a Jun (c-Jun, JunB, and JunD) and a Fos (c-Fos, FosB, Fra1, and Fra2). These proteins can form both homodimers and heterodimers among-themselves and can interact with additional proteins; thus, dissecting their individual roles has been difficult. We have determined that Fugu has more Jun and Fos genes than mammals, and if each proves to have a separate function, then addressing the roles of the individual AP1 proteins in Fugu may be simpler than in human.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 22, 2003
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