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Stem cells

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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A Widely Employed Germ Cell Marker Is An Ancient Disordered Protein With Reproductive Functions In Diverse Eukaryotes, Michelle A. Carmell, Gregoriy A. Dokshin, Helen Skaletsky, Yueh-Chiang Hu, Josien C. Van Wolfswinkel, Kyomi J. Igarashi, Daniel W. Bellott, Michael Nefedov, Peter W. Reddien, George C. Enders, Vladimir N. Uversky, Craig C. Mello, David C. Page Oct 2016

A Widely Employed Germ Cell Marker Is An Ancient Disordered Protein With Reproductive Functions In Diverse Eukaryotes, Michelle A. Carmell, Gregoriy A. Dokshin, Helen Skaletsky, Yueh-Chiang Hu, Josien C. Van Wolfswinkel, Kyomi J. Igarashi, Daniel W. Bellott, Michael Nefedov, Peter W. Reddien, George C. Enders, Vladimir N. Uversky, Craig C. Mello, David C. Page

Open Access Articles

The advent of sexual reproduction and the evolution of a dedicated germline in multicellular organisms are critical landmarks in eukaryotic evolution. We report an ancient family of GCNA (germ cell nuclear antigen) proteins that arose in the earliest eukaryotes, and feature a rapidly evolving intrinsically disordered region (IDR). Phylogenetic analysis reveals that GCNA proteins emerged before the major eukaryotic lineages diverged; GCNA predates the origin of a dedicated germline by a billion years. Gcna gene expression is enriched in reproductive cells across eukarya - either just prior to or during meiosis in single-celled eukaryotes, and in stem cells and germ cells ...