Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a cancer predisposition syndrome that results from dominant loss-of-function mutations mainly in the NF1
gene. Large rearrangements are present in 5–10% of affected patients, generally encompass NF1
neighboring genes, and are correlated with a more severe NF1 phenotype. Evident genotype–phenotype correlations and the importance of the co-deleted genes are difficult to establish. In our study we employed an evolutionary approach to provide further insights into the understanding of the fundamental function of genes that are co-deleted in subjects with NF1
microdeletions. Our goal was to access the ortholog and paralog relationship of these genes in primates and verify if purifying or positive selection are acting on these genes. Fourteen genes were analyzed in twelve mammalian species. Of these, four and ten genes showed positive selection and purifying selection, respectively. The protein, RNF135, showed three sites under positive selection at the RING finger domain, which may have been selected to increase efficiency in ubiquitination routes in primates. The phylogenetic analysis suggests distinct evolutionary constraint between the analyzed genes. With these analyses, we hope to help clarify the correlation of the co-deletion of these genes and the more severe phenotype of NF1.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited