Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are key components of cell–cell signalling required for growth and development of multicellular organisms. It is therefore likely that the divergence of RTKs and associated components played a significant role in the evolution of multicellular organisms. We have carried out the present study in hydra, a diploblast, to investigate the divergence of RTKs after parazoa and before emergence of triploblast phyla. The domain-based screening using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) for RTKs in Genomescan predicted gene models of the Hydra magnipapillata genome resulted in identification of 15 RTKs. These RTKs have been classified into eight families based on domain architecture and homology. Only 5 of these RTKs have been previously reported and a few of these have been partially characterized. A phylogeny-based analysis of these predicted RTKs revealed that seven subtype duplications occurred between `parazoan–eumetazoan split’ and `diploblast–triploblast split’ in animal phyla. These results suggest that most of the RTKs evolved before the radiata–bilateria divergence during animal evolution.
Volume 45, 2020
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