This website was produced as an assignment for an undergratuate course at Davidson College.*
Orthologs are genes in a particular species that are similar to a gene from another species. In other words, orthologs are highly similar genes from different species. It is important to study orthologs for two main reasons: 1) orthologs can indicate shared ancestry or evolution between various species and 2). Orthologs sequences can help in annotating new genomes by helping to identify unknown gene and protein functions.
(Dutta et al., 2003)
Calmodulin is an intracellular calcium-binding protein that acts as a intermediary in calcium signal transduction pathways (Dutta et al., 2003). For more information on the function and structure of calmodulin reference the structure and function of calmodulin. The structure and function of calmodulin explored in the previous webpage is derived from the known structure of human calmodulin. Therefore the following studies will use the human calmodulin gene sequence in order to search for orthologs. It is also important to note that within the human genome there are three calmodulin paralogs: calmodulin I, calmodulin II, and calmodulin III. The three calmodulin genes within the human genome encode for identical calmodulin proteins as verified by EntrezGene. For the following investigations the calmodulin I gene sequence will be used for investigation into possible orthologs.
The following webpage explores the orthologs of the gene that encodes for the calmodulin protein (Cam) in an attempt to understand the evolution of the gene and the conservation of important domains. It is important to study the general conservation of the protein across species for evolutionary knowledge, but it is also important to study specific sequences that may be conserved across different species, because evolutionarily conserved partial sequences may indicate essential residues for protein function. This webpage utilizes the information gathered from literature and personal research to explore possible conservation of structure and cellular roles.
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