The prolactin-inducible protein (PIP/GCDFP15) family consists of small secretory polypeptides that are found in various body fluids. In order to study evolutionary events to this family, we cloned member genes and analyzed their sequences. A database search revealed the presence of a novel paralogous gene on mouse chromosome 6q34 and a nonprocessed pseudogene adjacent to PIP on human chromosome 7q34. The mouse PIP and four related genes displayed higher nonsynonymous and synonymous substitution ratios in comparison to other mammalian PIP orthologues; furthermore, these genes exhibited distinct distributions among tissues such as seminal vesicle, colon, and mammary gland. A pair of duplicated genes could have existed prior to radiation to the human and rodents. While only PIP is active in the human lineage, species-specific gene duplications have given rise to functional variants in rodents. Adaptive evolution potentially has occurred among the PIP and its related genes in the mouse genome.
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