Genetic Basis for the Evolution of Vertebrate Mineralized Tissue

Kazuhiko Kawasaki, Kenneth M. Weiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Many proteins critical to vertebrate tissue mineralization arose from a common ancestor by gene duplication, and these constitute the Secretory Calcium-binding Phospho-Protein (SCPP) family. A bird eggshell matrix protein, mammalian milk caseins, and salivary proteins are also members of this family. The last common ancestor of these genes was created by a large segmental duplication, or whole genome duplication, early in vertebrate evolution. The SCPP family subsequently arose principally by tandem gene duplication, thereby generating many physiologically similar but functionally specialized proteins. It is notable that the repertoire of SCPP genes is significantly different in tetrapods and teleost fish, reflecting independent parallel gene duplication histories. Thus, while mineralized tissues have remained as an important adaptive trait, the underlying genetic basis has drifted in these two major vertebrate clades. The evolution of the SCPP gene family illustrates the initial co-option of available raw materials used to make the mineralized skeletal system of vertebrates with subsequent tinkering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Biomineralization
Subtitle of host publicationBiological Aspects and Structure Formation
PublisherWiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & CO. KGaA
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783527316410
StatePublished - Mar 20 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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