Meeting Abstract

P1.141  Wednesday, Jan. 4  A Genome-wide Survey of Evolutionarily Conserved Nuclear Transport Genes in the Sea Urchin SMITH, J.P.; RUTTER, M.T.; BRIDGES, M.C.; EASTERLING, M.R. ; JACKSON, L.A.; BYRUM, C.A.*; College of Charleston; College of Charleston; College of Charleston; College of Charleston; College of Charleston; College of Charleston

Due to its ecological significance as well as its commercial and biomedical interest, the genome of the California purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, was sequenced in 2006. This genome revealed greater than 23,000 genes and members of the Sea Urchin Consortium annotated much of the genome at that time. Two S. purpuratus gene families were not annotated in the initial effort: the exportins and the importins. These nuclear transport genes are vital to the movement of biological molecules into and out of the nucleus and currently only one, exportin-5, has been identified in S. purpuratus. By backblasting and performing phylogenetic analyses, we have identified S. purpuratus genes homologous to human exportins and importins. Within the exportin gene family, we found strong homology between each of the S. purpuratus genes and those from the human genome. Similarly strong homology was illustrated within the importin family as well. Our results suggest several gene duplication events may have occurred in the evolution of the importin gene family, leading to the accumulation of additional importin family members within the human genome. Studies illustrating the specific expression of the putative sequences identified will lead to even greater support for the annotations reported.