Remarkable synteny conservation of melanocortin receptors in chicken, human, and other vertebrates

Helgi B. Schiöth, Terje Raudsepp, Aneta Ringholm, Robert Fredriksson, Sakae Takeuchi, Dan Larhammar, Bhanu P. Chowdhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The melanocortin receptors (MCR) belong to the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors that participate in both peripheral and central functions, including regulation of energy balance. Genomic clones of the five chicken (GGA) MCRs were isolated and used to find the chromosomal location of each of the loci. The genes encoding MC2R and MC5R mapped to the middle part of the long arm of chromosome 2 (GGA2q22-q26) and MC4R proximally on the same chromosome arm, close to the centromere (2q12). This arrangement seems to be conserved on chromosome 18 in the human (HSA18). The MC1R and MC3R genes mapped to different microchromosomes that also appear to share homology with the respective human localization. The conserved synteny of the MC2R, MC5R, and MC4R cluster in chicken (GGA2), human (HSA18), and other mammals suggests that this cluster is ancient and was formed by local gene duplications that most likely occurred early in vertebrate evolution. Analysis of conserved synteny with mammalian genomes and paralogon segments prompted us to predict an ancestral gene organization that may explain how this family was formed through both local duplication and tetraploidization processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Chicken
  • Comparative mapping
  • Evolution
  • Genome duplications
  • Human
  • MCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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