Law, S.H., Redelings, B.D., and Kullman, S.W. (2012) Comparative genomics of duplicate gamma-glutamyl transferase genes in teleosts: medaka (Oryzias latipes), stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), green spotted pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis), fugu (Takifugu rubripes), and zebrafish (Danio rerio). Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution. 318(1):35-49.
The availability of multiple teleost (bony fish) genomes is providing unprecedented opportunities to understand the diversity and function of gene duplication events using comparative genomics. Here we examine multiple paralogous genes of γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in several distantly related teleost species including medaka, stickleback, green spotted pufferfish, fugu, and zebrafish. Through mining genome databases, we have identified multiple GGT orthologs. Duplicate (paralogous) GGT sequences for GGT1 (GGT1 a and b), GGTL1 (GGTL1 a and b), and GGTL3 (GGTL3 a and b) were identified for each species. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that GGTs are ancient proteins conserved across most metazoan phyla and those paralogous GGTs in teleosts likely arose from the serial 3R genome duplication events. A third GGTL1 gene (GGTL1c) was found in green spotted pufferfish; however, this gene is not present in medaka, stickleback, or fugu. Similarly, one or both paralogs of GGTL3 appear to have been lost in green spotted pufferfish, fugu, and zebrafish. Syntenic relationships were highly maintained between duplicated teleost chromosomes, among teleosts and across ray-finned (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned (Sarcopterygii) species. To assess subfunction partitioning, six medaka GGT genes were cloned and assessed for developmental and tissue-specific expression. On the basis of these data, we propose a modification of the “duplication-degeneration-complementation” model of subfunction partitioning where quantitative differences rather than absolute differences in gene expression are observed between gene paralogs. Our results demonstrate that multiple GGT genes have been retained within teleost genomes. Questions remain, however, regarding the functional roles of multiple GGTs in these species.