Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor gene family phylogenetics and nomenclature

Michael K. Skinner, Alan Rawls, Jeanne Wilson-Rawls, Eric H. Roalson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


A phylogenetic analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene superfamily was performed using seven different species (human, mouse, rat, worm, fly, yeast, and plant Arabidopsis) and involving over 600. bHLH genes (Stevens et al., 2008). All bHLH genes were identified in the genomes of the various species, including expressed sequence tags, and the entire coding sequence was used in the analysis. Nearly 15% of the gene family has been updated or added since the original publication. A super-tree involving six clades and all structural relationships was established and is now presented for four of the species. The wealth of functional data available for members of the bHLH gene superfamily provides us with the opportunity to use this exhaustive phylogenetic tree to predict potential functions of uncharacterized members of the family. This phylogenetic and genomic analysis of the bHLH gene family has revealed unique elements of the evolution and functional relationships of the different genes in the bHLH gene family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010



  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix transcription factor
  • bHLH
  • Fly
  • Human
  • Mouse
  • Nomenclature
  • Phylogenetics
  • Plant
  • Rat
  • Worm
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)

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