The Tibetan Antelope (TA), which has lived at high altitude for millions of years, was selected as the model species of high hypoxia-tolerant adaptation. Here we constructed two cDNA libraries from lung and cardiac muscle tissues, obtained EST sequences from the libraries, and acquired extensive expression data related energy metabolism genes. Comparative analyses of synonymous (Ks) and nonsynonymous (Ka) substitution rates of nucleus-encoded mitochondrial unigenes among different species revealed that many antelope genes have undergone rapid evolution. Surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) and surfactant-associated protein B (SP-B) genes in the AT lineage experienced accelerated evolution compared to goat and sheep, and these two genes are highly expressed in the lung tissue. This study suggests that many specific genes of lung and cardiac muscle tissues showed unique expression profiles and may undergo fast adaptive evolution in TA. These data provide useful information for studying on molecular adaptation to high-altitude in humans as well as other mammals.
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