The amino acid sequences of the human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and the human precursor for epidermal growth factor (EGF) show 33 percent identity over a stretch of 400 residues. This region of homology is encoded by eight contiguous exons in each respective gene. Of the nine introns that separate these exons, five are located in identical positions in the two protein sequences. This finding suggests that the homologous region may have resulted from a duplication of an ancestral gene and that the two genes evolved further by recruitment of exons from other genes, which provided the specific functional domains of the LDL receptor and the EGF precursor.
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