Background ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are involved in the active transportation of various endogenous or exogenous substances. Two ABCG2 gene subfamily members have been identified in birds. A detailed comparative study of the ABCG2 and ABCG2-like genes aid our understanding of their evolutionary history at the molecular level and provide a theoretical reference for studying the specific functions of ABCG2 and ABCG2-like genes in birds. Results We first identified 77 ABCG2 / ABCG2-like gene sequences in the genomes of 41 birds. Further analysis showed that both the nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of ABCG2 and ABCG2-like genes were highly conserved and exhibited high homology in birds. However, significant differences in the N-terminal structure were found between the ABCG2 and ABCG2-like amino acid sequences. A selective pressure analysis showed that the ABCG2 and ABCG2-like genes were affected by purifying selection during the process of bird evolution. Conclusions We believe that multiple members of the ABCG2 gene subfamily exist on chromosome 4 in the ancestors of birds. Over the long course of evolution, only the ABCG2 gene was retained on chromosome 4 in birds. The ABCG2-like gene on chromosome 6 might have originated from chromosome replication or fusion. The structural differences between the N terminus of ABCG2 protein and those of ABCG2-like proteins might lead to functional differences between the corresponding genes.
Shengchao Ma, Hehe Liu, Wenqiang Sun
BMC Evolutionary Biology