Ciona CYP3 genes
|Ciona intestinalis is a large solitary sea squirt which grows up to 15 cm in length. The body is soft, retractile and a pale translucent greenish/yellow, through which the internal organs are visible. They are found from the lower shore down to at least 500 m. The Ciona intestinalis genome has been sequenced, and it is the smallest of any experimentally manipulable chordate. This organism provides a good system for exploring the evolutionary origins of the chordate lineage, from which all vertebrates sprouted (http://genome.jgi-psf.org/ciona4/ciona4.home.html). (http://students.washington.edu/mardavis/research.shtml)|
Jed Goldstone (WHOI Biology), John Stegeman (WHOI Biology)
Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) form a gene superfamily involved in the biotransformation of numerous endogenous and exogenous natural and synthetic compounds. In humans, CYP3A is regarded as one of the most important CYPs due to its abundance in liver and its capacity to metabolize more than 50% of all clinically used drugs. It has been suggested that all CYP3s arose from a common ancestral gene lineage that diverged between 800 and 1100 million years ago, before the deuterostome-protostome split. While CYP3As are well known in mammals and have been described in lower vertebrates, they have not been reported in non-vertebrate deuterostomes. Members of the genus Ciona belong to the urochordates, whose lineage is believed to be the most basal among the chordates, and from which the vertebrate line diverged. Our goals are to identify, clone and study novel CYP3-like genes from Ciona intestinalis. Similarly, we are looking for homologous genes in Ciona savignyi.