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Distinct functions for ERKs?

Alison C Lloyd

Journal of Biology 2006, 5:13  doi:10.1186/jbiol46

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why don't all animals have 2 ERKs?

David Clayton   (2006-07-28 16:08)  University of Illinois email

It would be interesting to consider the possible signficance of the presence of only a single ERK in birds. Only a single ERK form is evident from whole genome sequencing of the chicken, and EST analysis of the zebra finch (soon to be complemented by whole genome sequencing) is also consistent with the existence of only a single ERK (e.g., Cheng & Clayton, 2004, J Neurosci 24, 7503-13). I have not studied the ERK family in other clades, although I note the author does refer to work on ERK in Drosophila. Are there two ERKs in Drosophila? Is there evidence that birds lost one ERK? Or that gene duplication occurred in the mammalian radiation? How might this guide hypotheses about the functional significance of two ERK forms, if they are found only in some animals?

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