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Evolution of the Neuropeptide Y-Peptide Yy Family

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Neuropeptide Y (NPY), peptide YY (PYY) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) form a family of 36-amino-acid peptides. DNA clones for NPY and PYY from several vertebrate species, including the river lamprey, show that both peptide genes were already present in the early vertebrate ancestor and that they have remained highly conserved during evolution. The PP gene probably arose as a copy of the PYY gene in early tetrapods. In situ hybridization shows that PYY expression is more widespread in the brain of lamprey than of mammals. We have cloned the zebrafish PYY (and NPY) gene to investigate whether this is a common feature among vertebrates. Clones have also been isolated for several NPY/PYY receptors in rat, human, and zebrafish to unravel the evolution of the receptor gene family. The results suggest that there may be at least four distinct receptor genes in bony fish and mammals.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Genetics, Uppsala University, Box 589, S-171 71 Uppsala, Sweden; 2: Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden


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