I am not a biology student, but just want to know if GULO gene are present only in mammals or all species possess it ?
And is GULO gene active in human fetus?
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
GULO encodes L-gulonolactone oxidase which catalyses a step in the biosynthetic pathway to ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
I did a BLAST search at NCBI using the mouse GULO protein as probe, excluding mammals, and I saw highly significant hits in reptiles, birds, sea urchins, fungi and bacteria. I conclude that this enzyme, (or very close relatives) is ubiquitous.
Humans (and other primates; also guinea pigs and the Dalmatian coach hound) have a defective GULO gene and so require dietary ascorbate.
Since the gene is non-functional in humans it isn't expressed in the foetus.
On Genecards it is mentioned that the GULO pseudo gene being expressed in humans in many major tissues. In that case the gene might be active although not encoding for a functional enzyme.