ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-101203-4
Calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels are encoded by duplicate slo1 genes in teleost fishes
Rohmann, K.N., Deitcher, D.L., and Bass, A.H.
Date: 2009
Source: Mol. Biol. Evol.   26(7): 1509-1521 (Journal)
Registered Authors:
Keywords: BK channels, hearing, gene duplications
MeSH Terms:
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Fish Proteins/genetics*
  • Fishes/genetics*
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel alpha Subunits/genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Alignment
PubMed: 19321796 Full text @ Mol. Biol. Evol.
Calcium-activated, large conductance potassium (BK) channels in tetrapods are encoded by a single slo1 gene, which undergoes extensive alternative splicing. Alternative splicing generates a high level of functional diversity in BK channels that contributes to the wide range of frequencies electrically tuned by the inner ear hair cells of many tetrapods. To date, the role of BK channels in hearing among teleost fishes has not been investigated at the molecular level, although teleosts account for approximately half of all extant vertebrate species. We identified slo1 genes in teleost and nonteleost fishes using polymerase chain reaction and genetic sequence databases. In contrast to tetrapods, all teleosts examined were found to express duplicate slo1 genes in the central nervous system, whereas nonteleosts that diverged prior to the teleost whole-genome duplication event express a single slo1 gene. Phylogenetic analyses further revealed that whereas other slo1 duplicates were the result of a single duplication event, an independent duplication occurred in a basal teleost (Anguilla rostrata) following the slo1 duplication in teleosts. A third, independent slo1 duplication (autotetraploidization) occurred in salmonids. Comparison of teleost slo1 genomic sequences to their tetrapod orthologue revealed a reduced number of alternative splice sites in both slo1 co-orthologues. For the teleost Porichthys notatus, a focal study species that vocalizes with maximal spectral energy in the range electrically tuned by BK channels in the inner ear, peripheral tissues show the expression of either one (e.g., vocal muscle) or both (e.g., inner ear) slo1 paralogues with important implications for both auditory and vocal physiology. Additional loss of expression of one slo1 paralogue in nonneural tissues in P. notatus suggests that slo1 duplicates were retained via subfunctionalization. Together, the results predict that teleost fish achieve a diversity of BK channel subfunction via gene duplication, rather than increased alternative splicing as witnessed for the tetrapod and invertebrate orthologue.