A genomic survey of SCPP family genes in fishes provides novel insights into the evolution of fish scales

Yunyun Lv, Kazuhiko Kawasaki, Jia Li, Yanping Li, Chao Bian, Yu Huang, Xinxin You, Qiong Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The family of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins (SCPPs) have been considered vital to skeletal tissue mineralization. However, most previous SCPP studies focused on phylogenetically distant animals but not on those closely related species. Here we provide novel insights into the coevolution of SCPP genes and fish scales in 10 species from Otophysi. According to their scale phenotypes, these fishes can be divided into three groups, i.e., scaled, sparsely scaled, and scaleless. We identified homologous SCPP genes in the genomes of these species and revealed an absence of some SCPP members in some genomes, suggesting an uneven evolutionary history of SCPP genes in fishes. In addition, most of these SCPP genes, with the exception of SPP1, individually form one or two gene cluster(s) on each corresponding genome. Furthermore, we constructed phylogenetic trees using maximum likelihood method to estimate their evolution. The phylogenetic topology mostly supports two subclasses in some species, such as Cyprinus carpio, Sinocyclocheilus anshuiensis, S. grahamin, and S. rhinocerous, but not in the other examined fishes. By comparing the gene structures of recently reported candidate genes, SCPP1 and SCPP5, for determining scale phenotypes, we found that the hypothesis is suitable for Astyanax mexicanus, but denied by S. anshuiensis, even though they are both sparsely scaled for cave adaptation. Thus, we conclude that, although different fish species display similar scale phenotypes, the underlying genetic changes however might be diverse. In summary, this paper accelerates the recognition of the SCPP family in teleosts for potential scale evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2432
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 16 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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