Author(s): Tsunemoto K, Matsuo Y, Tsunemoto K, Matsuo Y
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Abstract A repeating unit of the histone gene cluster from Drosophila simulans containing the H1, H2A, H2B and H4 genes (the H3 gene region has already been analyzed) was cloned and analyzed. A nucleotide sequence of about 4.6 kbp was determined to study the nucleotide divergence and molecular evolution of the histone gene cluster. Comparison of the structure and nucleotide sequence with those of Drosophila melanogaster showed that the four histone genes were located at identical positions and in the same directions. The proportion of different nucleotide sites was 6.3\% in total. The amino acid sequence of H1 was divergent, with a 5.1\% difference. However, no amino acid change has been observed for the other three histone proteins. Analysis of the GC contents and the base substitution patterns in the two lineages, D. melanogaster and D. simulans, with a common ancestor showed the following. 1) A strong negative correlation was found between the GC content and the nucleotide divergence in the whole repeating unit. 2) The mode of molecular evolution previously found for the H3 gene was also observed for the whole repeating unit of histone genes; the nucleotide substitutions were stationary in the 3' and spacer regions, and there was a directional change of the codon usage to the AT-rich codons. 3) No distinct difference in the mode or pattern of molecular evolution was detected for the histone gene repeating unit in the D. melanogaster and D. simulans lineages. These results suggest that selectional pressure for the coding regions of histones, which eliminate A and T, is less effective in the D. melanogaster and D. simulans lineages than in the other GC-rich species.
This article was published in Genes Genet Syst
and referenced in Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology