Insights into the evolution of hemoglobins and their genes are an abundant source of ideas regarding hemoglobin function and regulation of globin gene expression. This article presents the multiple genes and gene families encoding human globins, summarizes major events in the evolution of the hemoglobin gene clusters, and discusses how these studies provide insights into regulation of globin genes. Although the genes in and around the α-like globin gene complex are relatively stable, the β-like globin gene clusters are more dynamic, showing evidence of transposition to a new locus and frequent lineage-specific expansions and deletions. The cis-regulatory modules controlling levels and timing of gene expression are a mix of conserved and lineage-specific DNA, perhaps reflecting evolutionary constraint on core regulatory functions shared broadly in mammals and adaptive fine-tuning in different orders of mammals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)