The seminal vesicle secretions of guinea pig and rabbit were analyzed for semen coagulum proteins. Using SDS-PAGE we discovered a previously not fully recognized semen coagulum protein, Svp5, in the guinea pig and a single predominant component, SVP200, in the rabbit. Potential genes of these proteins were identified in genome databases by their homology with human and murine genes. The structure of their fullength transcripts was determined using seminal vesicle cDNA and sequencing primers based on genomic sequences. Homology searching indicated that both Svp5 and SVP200 were synthesized from composite genes that were the result of merger between two genes showing homology with human SEMG2 and PI3. For a deeper understanding of the evolution of the genes, we retrieved and analyzed genome sequences from the REST gene loci, encompassing genes of semen coagulum proteins and related rapidly evolving seminal vesicle-transcribed genes, of 14 rodents and 2 lagomorphs. The analysis showed that rodents of the suborders myomorpha, hystricomorpha, and castorimorpha had unique sets of REST genes, whereas sciuromorpha seemed to be lacking such genes. It also indicated a closer relationship between myomorpha and castorimorpha than to rodents of the two other analyzed suborders. In the lagomorph species, the pika appeared to be devoid of REST genes, whereas the rabbit had a single expressed REST gene, SVP200, and two pseudogenes. The structural similarity of semen coagulum proteins in rabbit and hystricomph species suggests that they are closely related. This was also supported by other similarities at their REST gene loci, e.g. the finding of a PI3-like gene in the rabbit that also had features in common with caltrin2 of hystricomorph rodents. The homologies indicate that hystricomorpha may have separated from myomorpha and castorimorpha before the separation of hystricomorpha from lagomorpha.
- Cell- och molekylärbiologi