Muscle-specific RING finger (MuRF) proteins are E3-ubiquitin ligases and key regulators of muscle growth and turnover. Here, using a range of phylogenomic approaches, we established the complete-definitive MuRF family of vertebrates. Adding to recognized MuRF1, 2 and 3, we describe a novel family member, hereafter MuRF4, which was independently lost during placental mammal and bird evolution, but is otherwise conserved. MuRF4 transcripts were expressed in heart and skeletal muscles of zebrafish, but were barely detectable in striated muscles of adult anole lizards. We also demonstrate that MuRF1 underwent retrotransposition in the teleost fish ancestor, before the retrogene fully replaced the original gene and muscle-specific function.
- muscle-specific RING finger family
- Novel MuRF: MuRF4
- striated muscle
- E3-ubiquitin ligase