Molecular evolution of the CPP-like gene family in plants: insights from comparative genomics of Arabidopsis and rice

J Mol Evol. 2008 Sep;67(3):266-77. doi: 10.1007/s00239-008-9143-z. Epub 2008 Aug 12.


CPP-like genes are members of a small family which features the existence of two similar Cys-rich domains termed CXC domains in their protein products and are distributed widely in plants and animals but do not exist in yeast. The members of this family in plants play an important role in development of reproductive tissue and control of cell division. To gain insights into how CPP-like genes evolved in plants, we conducted a comparative phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analysis of the CPP-like gene family in Arabidopsis and rice. The results of phylogeny revealed that both gene loss and species-specific expansion contributed to the evolution of this family in Arabidopsis and rice. Both intron gain and intron loss were observed through intron/exon structure analysis for duplicated genes. Our results also suggested that positive selection was a major force during the evolution of CPP-like genes in plants, and most amino acid residues under positive selection were disproportionately located in the region outside the CXC domains. Further analysis revealed that two CXC domains and sequences connecting them might have coevolved during the long evolutionary period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Duplicate
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genomics*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Plant Proteins