The fmo genes of Caenorhabditis elegans and C-briggsae: characterisation, gene expression and comparative genomic analysis

M I R Petalcorin, G W Joshua, P M Agapow, C T Dolphin

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20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) gene family is conserved and ancient with representatives present in almost all phyla so far examined. The genes encode FAD-, NADP- and O- 2-dependent enzymes that catalyse oxygenation of soft- nucleophilic heteroatom centres in a range of substrates. Although usually classified as xenobiotic-metabolising enzymes, examples of FMOs exist that have evolved to metabolise specific endogenous substrates as part of a discrete physiological process. The genome of Caenorhabditis elegans contains five predicted genes encoding putative homologs of mammalian FMOs, K08C7.2, K08C7.5, Y39A1A.19, F53F4.5 and H24K24.5, which we have named fmo and numbered fmo-1 to fmo-5, respectively. As a first step towards determining their functional role(s), we have experimentally characterised these C. elegans fmo genes including analysing reporter gene expression patterns and RNAi phenotypes. Two major gene expression patterns were observed, either intestinal or hypodermal, but no gross RNAi phenotypes were found possibly due to functional redundancy. The internal structures of fmo-2, fmo-3 and fmo-4 have been compared with orthologs identified in the related nematode C. briggsae. For each orthologous pair, a global comparison of the paired upstream intergenic regions was performed and a number of conserved noncoding sequences, which may represent potential cis-regulatory elements, identified. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that several of the fmo homologs are the result of gene duplication along the lineage leading to the nematodes. (c) 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83 - 96
Number of pages14
JournalGene
Volume346
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2005

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