[Studies on the molecular evolution of apolipoprotein multigene family].Yi Chuan Xue Bao. 1994; 21(2):81-95.YC
The apolipoprotein genes represent a large family of genes encoding various binding proteins for plasma lipid transport. Because of their long divergence history, it is not known whether and how these genes have evolved through gene duplication from a common ancestor. To test this possibility and reconstruct a reliable phylogenetic tree, a simple method to evaluate the branch length and its divergence time in unrooted parsimony tree under the condition of non-even evolutionary rate was developed. The tree built from the 26 apolipoprotein sequences by above method clearly shows: (1) The common ancestor of ApoA-I ApoA-II, ApoA-IV, ApoE may appear 460 million years ago in an ordovician vertebrate which may be related with the major apolipoprotein LAL1 and LAL2 in Lamprey from the evidence of sequence alignment; (2) The central role of different selection pressure upon the ancestor gene of apolipoprotein made them evolved into different subgroups; (3) The high evolution rate in rodent ApoE molecules may be related with the existence of a large amount of hidden substitutions and the disruption of synonym codon usage clock in their genome; (4) The evolutionary rate of various branches in parsimony tree is significantly different in which the average UEP of ApoA-I, ApoA-IV is 2.0 MY, ApoA-II 1.7MY, ApoE 2.4MY; (5) The receptor domain in ApoE seems to be more conservative than other fragments. These data suggest a long, complex evolutionary history for apolipoprotein genes in which the gene duplication events of different origins took place.