An antecedent of the MHC-linked genomic region in amphioxus.
Castro LF., Furlong RF., Holland PW.
The MHC genes on human chromosome 6 are located within one of the best-characterised paralogy regions of the human genome. Numerous genes mapping around this location, 6p21, have paralogues at one, two or three other chromosomal locations on HSA 1, 9 and 19. The similarity between these four chromosomal regions suggests the linkages may have adaptive significance, and/or they may be echoes of segmental or genome duplication in human ancestry. Here, we show that six amphioxus cosmids, containing genes orthologous to those from the human MHC-linked paralogy regions, map to a single amphioxus chromosome. The composition of the MHC-linked genomic region, therefore, pre-dates vertebrate origins.