2Joint Russian-French Research Laboratory LIA1066, Russia, France
3Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia
4Institute Gustave Roussy, 39 rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif, France; fax: +33(0)142-115494
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 8, 2014
The α- and β-globin gene domains are a traditional model for study of the domain organization of the eucaryotic genome because these genes encode hemoglobin, a physiologically important protein. The α-globin and β-globin gene domains are organized in completely different ways, while the expression of globin genes is tightly coordinated, which makes it extremely interesting to study the origin of these genes and the evolution of their regulatory systems. In this review, the organization of the α- and β-globin gene domains and their genomic environment in different taxonomic groups are comparatively analyzed. A new hypothesis of possible evolutionary pathways for segregated α- and β-globin gene domains of warm-blooded animals is proposed.
KEY WORDS: α- and β-globin gene domains, gene expression, evolution