Eight recombinant phage clones containing cytoplasmic actin-like gene sequences have been isolated from a human genomic library for structural characterization. Kpn I family repeat sequences flank six of these actin genes isolated, and Alu family repeats are scattered throughout the DNA inserts of all eight phage clones. Three of these genes are γ actin-like, and the other five are β actin-like. The complete nucleotide sequence analysis of one β and one γ actin-like genes and their flanking regions demonstrates that they both are processed pseudogenes. Using unique DNA sequences flanking these two pseudogenes as hybridization probes for human-mouse somatic cell hybrid DNAs, we have mapped the two actin pseudogenes on human chromosomes 8 and 3, respectively. We have also determined the DNA sequence of a human Y chromosome-linked, processed actin pseudogene. The different values of sequence divergence of these processed pseudogenes and their functional counterparts allow us to estimate the time of generation of the pseudogenes. The results suggest that the cDNA insertion events generating the human cytoplasmic actin-like pseudogenes have occurred at significantly different times during the evolution of primates, after their separation from other mammalian species.
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