Detection of homodimer formation of CD99 through extracelluar domain using bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis
The human pseudoautosomal region 1 (PAR1) is essential for the obligatory X-Y crossover in male meiosis. Despite its critical role, comparative studies of human and mouse pseudoautosomal genes have been limited owing to the scarcity of genes conserved between the two species. Human CD99 is a 32-kDa cell surface protein that is encoded by the MIC2 gene localized to the PAR1. Although several sequences such as CD99L2, PBDX, and CD99L1 are related to CD99, its murine ortholog, Cd99, has not yet been identified. Here we report a novel mouse Cd99, designated D4, which shows overall sequence homology to CD99, with the highest conservation between the two genes being found in the transmembrane regions. In addition, the D4 protein displays biochemical characteristics, functional homology, and expression patterns similar to those of CD99. The D4 gene is localized on an autosome, chromosome 4, reflecting a common mapping feature with other mouse orthologs of human PAR1 genes. Furthermore, a phylogenetic analysis of CD99-related genes confirmed that the D4 gene is indeed an ortholog of CD99 and exhibits the accelerated evolution pattern of CD99 orthologs, as compared to the CD99L2 orthologs. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that CD99 belongs to the ancient PAR genes, and that the rapid interspecies divergence of its present sequence and map position is due to a high recombination frequency and the occurrence of chromosomal translocation, supporting the addition-attrition hypothesis for PAR evolution.