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10 Achievements of the Year

The Exonization and Functionalization of an Alu-J Element in the Protein Coding Region of Glycoprotein Hormone Alpha Gene

deng_cheng__1.jpgAuthor: Cheng Deng
Organization: School of Life Sciences
The form of the achievement: paper and patent
Introduction: The paper entitled “The Exonization and Functionalization of an Alu-J Element in the Protein Coding Region of the Glycoprotein Hormone Alpha Gene Represents a Novel Mechanism to the Evolution of Hemochorial Placentation in Primates” was published in Molecular Biology and Evolution (5-Yr IF 13.3), one of the top journals in the field of evolutionary biolog. The study reveals the first example of an Alu element functioning as the encoding peptide to increase the whole protein stability and provides insight into the potential multi-functionalization of the Alu exon in the protein coding regions. The adaptive evolution prolongs the serum half-life of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) circulation. Furthermore, with the chorionic gonadotropin linking with hemochorial placentation, the exonization and functionalization of the Alu-J exon in the GPHA gene represents a novel mechanism to the evolution of hemochorial placentation in primates. The patent for this Gonadotropin recombinant protein Alu-HCG and its coding genes and application received the 7th Youth Science and Technology Award of the China Zoological Society.

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