Comparative genetics and evolution of annexin A13 as the founder gene of vertebrate annexins.
Annexin A13 (ANXA13) is believed to be the original founder gene of the 12-member vertebrate annexin A family, and it has acquired an intestine-specific expression associated with a highly differentiated intracellular transport function. Molecular characterization of this subfamily in a range of vertebrate species was undertaken to assess coding region conservation, gene organization, chromosomal linkage, and phylogenetic relationships relevant to its progenitor role in the structure-function evolution of the annexin gene superfamily. Protein diagnostic features peculiar to this subfamily include an alternate isoform containing a KGD motif, an elevated basic amino acid content with polyhistidine expansion in the 5'-translated region, and the conservation of 15% core tetrad residues specific to annexin A13 members. The 12 coding exons comprising the 58-kb human ANXA13 gene were deduced from BAC clone sequencing, whereas internal repetitive elements and neighboring genes in chromosome 8q24.12 were identified by contig analysis of the draft sequence from the human genome project. A unique exon splicing pattern in the annexin A13 gene was corroborated by coanalysis of mouse, rat, zebrafish, and pufferfish genomic DNA and determined to be the most distinct of all vertebrate annexins. The putative promoter region was identified by phylogenetic footprinting of potential binding sites for intestine-specific transcription factors. Mouse annexin A13 cDNA was used to map the gene to an orthologous linkage group in mouse chromosome 15 (between Sdc2 and Myc by backcross analysis), and the zebrafish cDNA permitted its localization to linkage group 24. Comparative analysis of annexin A13 from nine species traced this gene's speciation history and assessed coding region variation, whereas phylogenetic analysis showed it to be the deepest-branching vertebrate annexin, and computational analysis estimated the gene age and divergence rate. The unique, conserved aspects of annexin A13 primary structure, gene organization, and genetic maps identify it as the probable common ancestor of all vertebrate annexins, beginning with the sequential duplication to annexins A7 and A11 approximately 700 MYA, before the emergence of chordates.