Opossum alcohol dehydrogenases: Sequences, structures, phylogeny and evolution: Evidence for the tandem location of ADH genes on opossum chromosome 5
BLAT (BLAST-Like Alignment Tool) analyses and interrogations of the recently published opossum genome were undertaken using previously reported rat ADH amino acid sequences. Evidence is presented for six opossum ADH genes localized on chromosome 5 and organized in a comparable ADH gene cluster to that reported for human and rat ADH genes. The predicted amino acid sequences and secondary structures for the opossum ADH subunits and the intron-exon boundaries for opossum ADH genes showed a high degree of similarity with other mammalian ADHs, and four opossum ADH classes were identified, namely ADH1, ADH3, ADH6 and ADH4 (for which three genes were observed: ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C). Previous biochemical analyses of opossum ADHs have reported the tissue distribution and properties for these enzymes: ADH1, the major liver enzyme; ADH3, widely distributed in opossum tissues with similar kinetic properties to mammalian class 3 ADHs; and ADH4, for which several forms were localized in extrahepatic tissues, especially in the digestive system and in the eye. These ADHs are likely to perform similar functions to those reported for other mammalian ADHs in the metabolism of ingested and endogenous alcohols and aldehydes. Phylogenetic analyses examined opossum, human, rat, chicken and cod ADHs, and supported the proposed designation of opossum ADHs as class I (ADH1), class III (ADH3), class IV (ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C) and class VI (ADH6). Percentage substitution rates were examined for ADHs during vertebrate evolution which indicated that ADH3 is evolving at a much slower rate to that of the other ADH classes.