Identification of the full-length β-actin sequence and expression profiles in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri)

Int J Mol Med. 2015 Feb;35(2):519-24. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.2040. Epub 2014 Dec 15.


The tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) diverges from the primate order (Primates) and is classified as a separate taxonomic group of mammals - Scandentia. It has been suggested that the tree shrew can be used as an animal model for studying human diseases; however, the genomic sequence of the tree shrew is largely unidentified. In the present study, we reported the full-length cDNA sequence of the housekeeping gene, β-actin, in the tree shrew. The amino acid sequence of β-actin in the tree shrew was compared to that of humans and other species; a simple phylogenetic relationship was discovered. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and western blot analysis further demonstrated that the expression profiles of β-actin, as a general conservative housekeeping gene, in the tree shrew were similar to those in humans, although the expression levels varied among different types of tissue in the tree shrew. Our data provide evidence that the tree shrew has a close phylogenetic association with humans. These findings further enhance the potential that the tree shrew, as a species, may be used as an animal model for studying human disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins* / biosynthesis
  • Actins* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Tupaiidae* / genetics
  • Tupaiidae* / metabolism


  • Actins
  • DNA, Complementary