Identification and phylogenetic comparison of p53 in two distinct mussel species (Mytilus)

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Muttray, Annette F.
Cox, Rachel L.
St-Jean, Sylvie D.
van Poppelen, Paul
Reinisch, Carol L.
Baldwin, Susan A.
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Environmental effects monitoring
p53 gene family
Phylogenetic footprint analysis
3′ untranslated region
The extent to which humans and wildlife are exposed to anthropogenic challenges is an important focus of environmental research. Potential use of p53 gene family marker(s) for aquatic environmental effects monitoring is the long-term goal of this research. The p53 gene is a tumor suppressor gene that is fundamental in cell cycle control and apoptosis. It is mutated or differentially expressed in about 50% of all human cancers and p53 family members are differentially expressed in leukemic clams. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the p53 gene in two species of Mytilus, Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus, using RT-PCR with degenerate and specific primers to conserved regions of the gene. The Mytilus p53 proteins are 99.8% identical and closely related to clam (Mya) p53. In particular, the 3′ untranslated regions were examined to gain understanding of potential post-transcriptional regulatory pathways of p53 expression. We found nuclear and cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements, adenylate/uridylate-rich elements, and a K-box motif previously identified in other, unrelated genes. We also identified a new motif in the p53 3′UTR which is highly conserved across vertebrate and invertebrate species. Differences between the p53 genes of the two Mytilus species may be part of genetic determinants underlying variation in leukemia prevalence and/or development, but this requires further investigation. In conclusion, the conserved regions in these p53 paralogues may represent potential control points in gene expression. This information provides a critical first step in the evaluation of p53 expression as a potential marker for environmental assessment.
Author Posting. © The Authors, 2005. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B. V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology 140 (2005): 237-250, doi:10.1016/j.cca.2005.02.011.
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