How many sirtuin genes are out there? evolution of sirtuin genes in vertebrates with a description of a new family member
Abstract null Studying the evolutionary history of gene families is a challenging and exciting task with a wide range of implications. In addition to exploring fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of genes, disentangling their evolution is also critical to those who do functional/structural work, as the correct interpretation of their results needs to be done in a robust evolutionary context. The sirtuin gene family is a group of genes that are involved in a variety of biological functions mostly related to aging. Their duplicative history is an open question, as well as the definition of the repertoire of sirtuin genes among vertebrates. Our goal is to take advantage of the genomic data available in public databases to advance our understanding of how sirtuin genes are related to each other, and to characterize the gene repertoire in species representative of all the main groups of vertebrates. Our results show a well-resolved phylogeny that represents a significant improvement in our understanding of the duplicative history of the sirtuin gene family. We identified a new sirtuin family member (SIRT3-like) that was apparently lost in amniotes, but retained in all other groups of jawed vertebrates. Our results indicate that there are at least eight sirtuin paralogs among vertebrates and that all of them can be traced back to the last common ancestor of the group that existed between 676 and 615 millions of years ago.