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We report the cloning of an intermediate filament (IF) cDNA from the cephalochordate amphioxus that encodes a protein assignable to the type I keratin group. This is the first type I keratin reported from an invertebrate. Molecular phylogenetic analyses reveal that amphioxus also possesses a type II keratin, and that the genes encoding short-rod IF proteins underwent different patterns of duplication in vertebrates and their closest relatives, the cephalochordates. Extensive IF gene duplication and divergence may have facilitated the origin of new specialised cell types in vertebrates.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Zool

Publication Date

15/04/1999

Volume

285

Pages

50 - 56

Keywords

Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Chordata, Nonvertebrate, Evolution, Molecular, Gene Duplication, Genetic Variation, Humans, Intermediate Filament Proteins, Keratins, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Rats, Sequence Alignment, Xenopus