Evolutionary Genomics Reveals Lineage-Specific Gene Loss and Rapid Evolution of a Sperm-Specific Ion Channel Complex: CatSpers and CatSper beta
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The mammalian CatSper ion channel family consists of four sperm-specific voltage-gated Ca2+ channels that are crucial for sperm hyperactivation and male fertility. All four CatSper subunits are believed to assemble into a heteromultimeric channel complex, together with an auxiliary subunit, CatSperb. Here, we report a comprehensive comparative genomics study and evolutionary analysis of CatSpers and CatSperb, with important correlation to physiological significance of molecular evolution of the CatSper channel complex. The development of the CatSper channel complex with four CatSpers and CatSperb originated as early as primitive metazoans such as the Cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. Comparative genomics revealed extensive lineage-specific gene loss of all four CatSpers and CatSperb through metazoan evolution, especially in vertebrates. The CatSper channel complex underwent rapid evolution and functional divergence, while distinct evolutionary constraints appear to have acted on different domains and specific sites of the four CatSper genes. These results reveal unique evolutionary characteristics of sperm-specific Ca2+ channels and their adaptation to sperm biology through metazoan evolution.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1371/journal.pone.0003569
CitationCai,Xinjiang;Clapham,David E.. 2008. Evolutionary Genomics Reveals Lineage-Specific Gene Loss and Rapid Evolution of a Sperm-Specific Ion Channel Complex: CatSpers and CatSper beta. Plos One 3(10): e3569-e3569.
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