UOX (urate oxidase, pseudogene)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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Urate oxidase (UOX) catalyzes the oxidation of uric acid to allantoin and is a pseudogene in humans as well as other primate lines. A nonsense mutation in exon two has rendered UOX nonfunctional in apes and other mutations have resulted in its pseudogenization in other primate lineages as well. Originally the discovery of the loss of function of UOX in human was believed to be human specific and be linked to human protection against oxidative damage and prolonged lifespan. However, findings of its pseudogenization in multiple primate species have proven the human lineage specificity of these claims to be untrue, although the loss of uric acid oxidation is an important primate specific loss.

Genetics Topic Attributes


  1. Loss of urate oxidase activity in hominoids and its evolutionary implications., Oda, Masako, Satta Yoko, Takenaka Osamu, and Takahata Naoyuki , Mol Biol Evol, 2002 May, Volume 19, Issue 5, p.640-53, (2002)