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Biochemistry Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9051727, 6 pages
Research Article

Molecular Evolution of the Glycosyltransferase 6 Gene Family in Primates

1Laboratório de Genética Humana e Médica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil
2Laboratório de Biologia Molecular “Francisco Mauro Salzano”, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

Received 12 July 2016; Accepted 20 October 2016

Academic Editor: Stefano Pascarella

Copyright © 2016 Eliane Evanovich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glycosyltransferase 6 gene family includes ABO, Ggta1, iGb3S, and GBGT1 genes and by three putative genes restricted to mammals, GT6m6, GTm6, and GT6m7, only the latter is found in primates. GT6 genes may encode functional and nonfunctional proteins. Ggta1 and GBGT1 genes, for instance, are pseudogenes in catarrhine primates, while iGb3S gene is only inactive in human, bonobo, and chimpanzee. Even inactivated, these genes tend to be conversed in primates. As some of the GT6 genes are related to the susceptibility or resistance to parasites, we investigated (i) the selective pressure on the GT6 paralogs genes in primates; (ii) the basis of the conservation of iGb3S in human, chimpanzee, and bonobo; and (iii) the functional potential of the GBGT1 and GT6m7 in catarrhines. We observed that the purifying selection is prevalent and these genes have a low diversity, though ABO and Ggta1 genes have some sites under positive selection. GT6m7, a putative gene associated with aggressive periodontitis, may have regulatory function, but experimental studies are needed to assess its function. The evolutionary conservation of iGb3S in humans, chimpanzee, and bonobo seems to be the result of proximity to genes with important biological functions.