Mutations of SALL1 related to spalt of Drosophila have been found to cause Townes-Brocks syndrome, suggesting a function of SALL1 for the development of anus, limbs, ears, and kidneys. No function is yet known for SALL2, another human spalt-like gene. The structure of SALL2 is different from SALL1 and all other vertebrate spalt-like genes described in mouse, Xenopus, and Medaka, suggesting that SALL2-like genes might also exist in other vertebrates. Consistent with this hypothesis, we isolated and characterized a SALL2 homologous mouse gene, Msal-2. In contrast to other vertebrate spalt-like genes both SALL2 and Msal-2 encode only three double zinc finger domains, the most carboxyterminal of which only distantly resembles spalt-like zinc fingers. The evolutionary conservation of SALL2/Msal-2 suggests that two lines of sal-like genes with presumably different functions arose from an early evolutionary duplication of a common ancestor gene. Msal-2 is expressed throughout embryonic development but also in adult tissues, predominantly in brain. However, the function of SALL2/Msal-2 still needs to be determined.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2014
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