“The MEN1 gene, mutations in which are responsible for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), encodes a 610-amino acid protein, denoted menin. The amino acid sequence of this putative tumor suppressor offers no clue to the function or subcellular location of the protein.”
–Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 February 17; 95(4): 1630–1634.
I got a request to test the Menin gene today to see if it meets the criteria of the challenge to the Discovery Institute to locate a gene with no homology to other genes: in other words, a gene that appears to have been created by non-natural processes. This is the mirror of their challenge to produce an observed instance of “macroevolutionary change” which is based on false premises… I’ll save that for a later post.
What about Menin? Well, in 1998 we didn’t have any homologous proteins… but a lot has changed since that young person’s textbook was printed. Below I’ll put a screen shot from Homologene . For the sake of brevity, I’m only including the first part of the protein sequence.
Sorry for the graphics quality. Each of those letters represents an amino acid in the protein. Notice that even the invertebrates (fruit fly, mosquito) have a menin homolog, although there’s an increase in differences the further away we travel from the common ancestor of each pair. Chimp and Human menin sequences are identical across the full length.
So, no, this doesn’t meet the challenge. If you want to read more about Menin, a tumor suppressor protein where variations are tied to a variety of diseases, go here.