A ZFY-like sequence in fish, with comments on the evolution of the ZFY family of genes in vertebrates

Biochem Genet. 1995 Aug;33(7-8):227-35.


ZFY-like genes have been observed in a variety of vertebrate species. Although originally implicated as the primary testis-determining gene in humans and other placental mammals, more recent evidence indicates a role(s) outside that of testis determination. In this study, DNA from five species of fish, Carasius auratus, Rivulus marmoratus, Xiphophorus maculatus, X. milleri, and X. nigrensis was subjected to Southern blot analysis using a PCR-amplified fragment of mouse ZFY-like sequence as a probe. Restriction fragment patterns were not polymorphic between sexes in any one species but showed a different pattern for each species. With one exception, Rivulus, a 3.1-kb band from the EcoRI digestion was common to all. Sequence and open reading frame analysis of this fragment showed a strong homology to other known vertebrate ZFY-like genes. Of particular interest in this gene is a novel third finger domain similar to one human and one alligator ZFY-like gene. Our studies and others provide evidence for a family of vertebrate ZFY genes, with those having this novel third finger being representative of the ancestral condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cyprinodontiformes / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Fish Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fish Proteins
  • ZF1 protein, Xiphophorus maculatus

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M30607
  • GENBANK/M32309
  • GENBANK/U12777
  • GENBANK/X56465
  • GENBANK/X61714
  • GENBANK/X61715
  • GENBANK/X68024
  • GENBANK/X75170
  • GENBANK/X75172
  • GENBANK/X75173
  • PIR/A60392