COMPARISON OF THE EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATION OF INSULIN-LIKE PEPTIDES BETWEEN D. MELANOGASTER AND D. VIRILIS
Conditions such as heart disease, both types of diabetes, and different forms of cancer, are all linked to errors in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) pathway. This pathway promotes cell proliferation and organ growth and is highly conserved across animals. This includes Drosophila melanogaster, a species of fruit fly with a genome that has shown to be remarkably homologous with that of humans. The Pathways project of the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) is a multi-institution undertaking to annotate and assess the evolution of genes of the IIS pathway across 32 species of Drosophila. Insulin-like peptides stimulate the IIS pathway and are present as a gene family in Drosophila species. Ilp7 has greater gene sequence conservation across insect species compared to the genes encoding other insulin-like peptides (ILPs). This research compared the evolutionary divergence between D. melanogaster and D. virilis of Ilp7 to three other members of the gene family: Ilp5, Ilp6, and Ilp8. We used BLAST to identify a potential ortholog of each gene in D. virilis. Then we used the UCSC Genome Browser to examine the genomic neighborhood of each gene to confirm orthology and to annotate the start and stop codons and exon-intron borders. A model of each D. virilis gene was made and verified using the GEP Gene Model Checker. The predicted protein sequence of each gene was compared to that of the ortholog in D. melanogaster using the Gene Model Checker. As expected, the product of Ilp7 demonstrated the greatest degree of conservation of protein sequence. Ilp7 showed a percent identity of 74.4%, which was higher than the other percent identities of 36.4% (Ilp5), 33.9% (Ilp6), and 50.7% (Ilp8).
Genomics Education Partnership, CSU Department of Biology
Holmes*, Andrew C. and Schwartz, Brian W.
"COMPARISON OF THE EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATION OF INSULIN-LIKE PEPTIDES BETWEEN D. MELANOGASTER AND D. VIRILIS,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 110.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/110