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The evolution of extracellular fibrillins and their functional domains.

ABSTRACT: Fibrillins constitute the major backbone of multifunctional microfibrils in elastic and non-elastic extracellular matrices, and are known to interact with several binding partners including tropoelastin and integrins. Here, we study the evolution of fibrillin proteins. Following sequence collection from 39 organisms representative of the major evolutionary groups, molecular evolutionary genetics and phylogeny inference software were used to generate a series of evolutionary trees using distance-based and maximum likelihood methods. The resulting trees support the concept of gene duplication as a means of generating the three vertebrate fibrillins. Beginning with a single fibrillin sequence found in invertebrates and jawless fish, a gene duplication event, which coincides with the appearance of elastin, led to the creation of two genes. One of the genes significantly evolved to become the gene for present-day fibrillin-1, while the other underwent evolutionary changes, including a second duplication, to produce present-day fibrillin-2 and fibrillin-3. Detailed analysis of several sequences and domains within the fibrillins reveals distinct similarities and differences across various species. The RGD integrin-binding site in TB4 of all fibrillins is conserved in cephalochordates and vertebrates, while the integrin-binding site within cbEGF18 of fibrillin-3 is a recent evolutionary change. The proline-rich domain in fibrillin-1, glycine-rich domain in fibrillin-2 and proline-/glycine-rich domain in fibrillin-3 are found in all analyzed tetrapod species, whereas it is completely replaced with an EGF-like domain in cnidarians, arthropods, molluscs and urochordates. All collected sequences contain the first 9-cysteine hybrid domain, and the second 8-cysteine hybrid domain with exception of arthropods containing an atypical 10-cysteine hybrid domain 2. Furin cleavage sites within the N- and C-terminal unique domains were found for all analyzed fibrillin sequences, indicating an essential role for processing of the fibrillin pro-proteins. The four cysteines in the unique N-terminus and the two cysteines in the unique C-terminus are also highly conserved.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3306419 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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