Miyoshi, K., Cui, Y., Riedlinger, G., Lehoczky, J., Zon, L., Oka, T., Dewar, K., and Hennighausen, L. (2001) Structure of the mouse Stat 3/5 locus: evolution from Drosophila to zebrafish to mouse. Genomics. 71(2):150-155.
Signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) are transcription factors that can be activated by many cytokines. While Drosophila contains only one Stat (d-Stat), mammals contain seven, with STATs 3, 5a, and 5b being the closest functional relatives. To understand the evolutionary relationship between d-Stat and vertebrate STATs 3 and 5, we isolated, sequenced, and analyzed the zebrafish Stat3 (z-Stat3) gene and a 500-kb region spanning mouse chromosome 11, 60.5 cM containing three Stat genes (m-Stats). Within this region we identified the genes encoding m-Stats 3, 5a, and 5b, Cnp1, Hcrt/Orexin, Ptrf, GCN5, mDj11, and four new genes. The 5' ends of the m-Stat5a and m-Stat5b genes are juxtaposed to each other, and the 3' ends of the m-Stat3 and Stat5a genes face each other. While the m-Stat5a and m-Stat3 genes have one promoter each, which are active in many tissues, the m-Stat5b gene acquired two distinct promoters. The distal promoter is expressed ubiquitously, and transcription from the proximal promoter is restricted to liver, muscle, and mammary tissue. Through a comparison of exon-intron boundaries from the m-Stat3, m-Stat5a, and m-Stat5b, z-Stat3, and d-Stat genes, we deduced their evolutionary relationship. We propose that the Stat3 and Stat5 lineages are derived from the duplication of a common primordial gene and that d-Stat is a part of the Stat5 lineage.