Four immunoglobulin gamma heavy chain isotypes are present in humans; the true phylogenetic relationship between the genes are not known because of the complex concerted evolution of the Ig multigene locus. Here we present data obtained from Southern blot analysis of the gamma genes in several primate species including prosimians (Lemur catta), New World Monkeys (Saguinus oedipus) and Old World Monkeys (Cercopitecus aethiops and Macaca fascicularis). Our data show the presence of a single IgG gene in Lemur and probably in S. oedipus, and of multiple genes in the two Cercopithecinae. These findings suggest that a single IgG gene was present in the ancestor of primates: we suppose that this IgG gene was later duplicated several times during primate evolution.
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