Oxytocin - Evolution

Evolution

Virtually all vertebrates have an oxytocin-like nonapeptide hormone that supports reproductive functions and a vasopressin-like nonapeptide hormone involved in water regulation. The two genes are usually located close to each other (less than 15,000 bases apart) on the same chromosome, and are transcribed in opposite directions (however, in fugu, the homologs are further apart and transcribed in the same direction).

The two genes are believed to result from a gene duplication event; the ancestral gene is estimated to be about 500 million years old and is found in cyclostomata (modern members of the Agnatha).

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