Convergent and divergent mechanisms of sugar recognition across kingdoms.
ABSTRACT: Protein modules that bind specific oligosaccharides are found across all kingdoms of life from single-celled organisms to man. Different, overlapping and evolving designations for sugar-binding domains in proteins can sometimes obscure common features that often reflect convergent solutions to the problem of distinguishing sugars with closely similar structures and binding them with sufficient affinity to achieve biologically meaningful results. Structural and functional analysis has revealed striking parallels between protein domains with widely different structures and evolutionary histories that employ common solutions to the sugar recognition problem. Recent studies also demonstrate that domains descended from common ancestors through divergent evolution appear more widely across the kingdoms of life than had previously been recognized.
Project description:RNA- and DNA-binding domains are essential building blocks for specific regulation of gene expression. While a number of canonical nucleic acid binding domains share sequence and structural conservation, others are less obviously linked by evolutionary traits. In this review, we describe a protein fold of about 150 aa in length, bearing a conserved ?-?-?-?-?-linker-?-?-?-?-? topology and similar nucleic acid binding properties but no apparent sequence conservation. The same overall fold can also be achieved by dimerization of two proteins, each bearing a ?-?-?-?-? topology. These proteins include but are not limited to the transcription factors PC4 and P24 from humans and plants, respectively, the human RNA-transport factor Pur-? (also termed PURA), as well as the ssDNA-binding SP_0782 protein from Streptococcus pneumonia and the bacteriophage coat proteins PP7 and MS2. Besides their common overall topology, these proteins share common nucleic acids binding surfaces and thus functional similarity. We conclude that these PC4-like domains include proteins from all kingdoms of life and are much more abundant than previously known.
Project description:Drug resistance, especially antibiotic resistance, is a growing threat to human health. To overcome this problem, it is significant to know precisely the mechanisms of drug resistance and/or self-resistance in various kingdoms, from bacteria through plants to animals, once more. This review compares the molecular mechanisms of the resistance against phycotoxins, toxins from marine and terrestrial animals, plants and fungi, and antibiotics. The results reveal that each kingdom possesses the characteristic features. The main mechanisms in each kingdom are transporters/efflux pumps in phycotoxins, mutation and modification of targets and sequestration in marine and terrestrial animal toxins, ABC transporters and sequestration in plant toxins, transporters in fungal toxins, and various or mixed mechanisms in antibiotics. Antibiotic producers in particular make tremendous efforts for avoiding suicide, and are more flexible and adaptable to the changes of environments. With these features in mind, potential alternative strategies to overcome these resistance problems are discussed. This paper will provide clues for solving the issues of drug resistance.
Project description:Since the initial identification of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s), great progress has been made in understanding their structure-function relationship, diversity and application in producing compounds beneficial to humans. However, the molecular evolution of P450s in terms of their dynamics both at protein and DNA levels and functional conservation across kingdoms still needs investigation. In this study, we analyzed 17 598 P450s belonging to 113 P450 families (bacteria -42; fungi -19; plant -28; animal -22; plant and animal -1 and common P450 family -1) and found highly conserved and rapidly evolving P450 families. Results suggested that bacterial P450s, particularly P450s belonging to mycobacteria, are highly conserved both at protein and DNA levels. Mycobacteria possess the highest P450 diversity percentage compared to other microbes and have a high coverage of P450s (?1%) in their genomes, as found in fungi and plants. Phylogenetic and functional analyses revealed the functional conservation of P450s despite belonging to different biological kingdoms, suggesting the adherence of P450s to their innate function such as their involvement in either generation or oxidation of steroids and structurally related molecules, fatty acids and terpenoids. This study's results offer new understanding of the dynamic structural nature of P450s.
Project description:Cell polarity is fundamental for tissue morphogenesis in multicellular organisms. Plants and animals evolved multicellularity independently, and it is unknown whether their polarity systems are derived from a single-celled ancestor. Planar polarity in animals is conferred by Wnt signaling, an ancient signaling pathway transduced by Dishevelled, which assembles signalosomes by dynamic head-to-tail DIX domain polymerization. In contrast, polarity-determining pathways in plants are elusive. We recently discovered Arabidopsis SOSEKI proteins, which exhibit polar localization throughout development. Here, we identify SOSEKI as ancient polar proteins across land plants. Concentration-dependent polymerization via a bona fide DIX domain allows these to recruit ANGUSTIFOLIA to polar sites, similar to the polymerization-dependent recruitment of signaling effectors by Dishevelled. Cross-kingdom domain swaps reveal functional equivalence of animal and plant DIX domains. We trace DIX domains to unicellular eukaryotes and thus show that DIX-dependent polymerization is an ancient mechanism conserved between kingdoms and central to polarity proteins.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The inorganic (Pi) phosphate transporter (PiT) family comprises known and putative Na(+)- or H(+)-dependent Pi-transporting proteins with representatives from all kingdoms. The mammalian members are placed in the outer cell membranes and suggested to supply cells with Pi to maintain house-keeping functions. Alignment of protein sequences representing PiT family members from all kingdoms reveals the presence of conserved amino acids and that bacterial phosphate permeases and putative phosphate permeases from archaea lack substantial parts of the protein sequence when compared to the mammalian PiT family members. Besides being Na(+)-dependent P(i) (NaP(i)) transporters, the mammalian PiT paralogs, PiT1 and PiT2, also are receptors for gamma-retroviruses. We have here exploited the dual-function of PiT1 and PiT2 to study the structure-function relationship of PiT proteins. RESULTS: We show that the human PiT2 histidine, H(502), and the human PiT1 glutamate, E(70),--both conserved in eukaryotic PiT family members--are critical for P(i) transport function. Noticeably, human PiT2 H(502) is located in the C-terminal PiT family signature sequence, and human PiT1 E(70) is located in ProDom domains characteristic for all PiT family members.A human PiT2 truncation mutant, which consists of the predicted 10 transmembrane (TM) domain backbone without a large intracellular domain (human PiT2ΔR(254)-V(483)), was found to be a fully functional P(i) transporter. Further truncation of the human PiT2 protein by additional removal of two predicted TM domains together with the large intracellular domain created a mutant that resembles a bacterial phosphate permease and an archaeal putative phosphate permease. This human PiT2 truncation mutant (human PiT2ΔL(183)-V(483)) did also support P(i) transport albeit at very low levels. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the overall structure of the P(i)-transporting unit of the PiT family proteins has remained unchanged during evolution. Moreover, in combination, our studies of the gene structure of the human PiT1 and PiT2 genes (SLC20A1 and SLC20A2, respectively) and alignment of protein sequences of PiT family members from all kingdoms, along with the studies of the dual functions of the human PiT paralogs show that these proteins are excellent as models for studying the evolution of a protein's structure-function relationship.
Project description:C+G content (GC content or G+C content) is known to be correlated with genome/chromosome size in bacteria but the relationship for other kingdoms remains unclear. This study analyzed genome size, chromosome size, and base composition in most of the available sequenced genomes in various kingdoms. Genome size tends to increase during evolution in plants and animals, and the same is likely true for bacteria. The genomic C+G contents were found to vary greatly in microorganisms but were quite similar within each animal or plant subkingdom. In animals and plants, the C+G contents are ranked as follows: monocot plants>mammals>non-mammalian animals>dicot plants. The variation in C+G content between chromosomes within species is greater in animals than in plants. The correlation between average chromosome C+G content and chromosome length was found to be positive in Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria (but not in other analyzed bacterial phyla), Ascomycota fungi, and likely also in some plants; negative in some animals, insignificant in two protist phyla, and likely very weak in Archaea. Clearly, correlations between C+G content and chromosome size can be positive, negative, or not significant depending on the kingdoms/groups or species. Different phyla or species exhibit different patterns of correlation between chromosome-size and C+G content. Most chromosomes within a species have a similar pattern of variation in C+G content but outliers are common. The data presented in this study suggest that the C+G content is under genetic control by both trans- and cis- factors and that the correlation between C+G content and chromosome length can be positive, negative, or not significant in different phyla.
Project description:Maximizing growth and survival in the face of a complex, time-varying environment is a common problem for single-celled organisms in the wild. When offered two different sugars as carbon sources, microorganisms first consume the preferred sugar, then undergo a transient growth delay, the "diauxic lag," while inducing genes to metabolize the less preferred sugar. This delay is commonly assumed to be an inevitable consequence of selection to maximize use of the preferred sugar. Contrary to this view, we found that many natural isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae display short or nonexistent diauxic lags when grown in mixtures of glucose (preferred) and galactose. These strains induce galactose utilization (GAL) genes hours before glucose exhaustion, thereby "preparing" for the transition from glucose to galactose metabolism. The extent of preparation varies across strains, and seems to be determined by the steady-state response of GAL genes to mixtures of glucose and galactose rather than by induction kinetics. Although early GAL gene induction gives strains a competitive advantage once glucose runs out, it comes at a cost while glucose is still present. Costs and benefits correlate with the degree of preparation: strains with higher expression of GAL genes prior to glucose exhaustion experience a larger upfront growth cost but also a shorter diauxic lag. Our results show that classical diauxic growth is only one extreme on a continuum of growth strategies constrained by a cost-benefit tradeoff. This type of continuum is likely to be common in nature, as similar tradeoffs can arise whenever cells evolve to use mixtures of nutrients.
Project description:The genetic code is necessarily degenerate with 64 possible nucleotide triplets being translated into 20 amino acids. Eighteen out of the 20 amino acids are encoded by multiple synonymous codons. While synonymous codons are clearly equivalent in terms of the information they carry, it is now well established that they are used in a biased fashion. There is currently no consensus as to the origin of this bias. Drawing on ideas from stochastic thermodynamics we derive from first principles a mathematical model describing the statistics of codon usage bias. We show that the model accurately describes the distribution of codon usage bias of genomes in the fungal and bacterial kingdoms. Based on it, we derive a new computational measure of codon usage bias-the distance D capturing two aspects of codon usage bias: (i) differences in the genome-wide frequency of codons and (ii) apparent non-random distributions of codons across mRNAs. By means of large scale computational analysis of over 900 species across two kingdoms of life, we demonstrate that our measure provides novel biological insights. Specifically, we show that while codon usage bias is clearly based on heritable traits and closely related species show similar degrees of bias, there is considerable variation in the magnitude of D within taxonomic classes suggesting that the contribution of sequence-level selection to codon bias varies substantially within relatively confined taxonomic groups. Interestingly, commonly used model organisms are near the median for values of D for their taxonomic class, suggesting that they may not be good representative models for species with more extreme D, which comprise organisms of medical and agricultural interest. We also demonstrate that amino acid specific patterns of codon usage are themselves quite variable between branches of the tree of life, and that some of this variability correlates with organismal tRNA content.
Project description:Septins are cytoskeletal GTPase proteins first discovered in the fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae where they organize the septum and link nuclear division with cell division. More recently septins have been found in animals where they are important in processes ranging from actin and microtubule organization to embryonic patterning and where defects in septins have been implicated in human disease. Previous studies suggested that many animal septins fell into independent evolutionary groups, confounding cross-kingdom comparison.In the current work, we identified 162 septins from fungi, microsporidia and animals and analyzed their phylogenetic relationships. There was support for five groups of septins with orthology between kingdoms. Group 1 (which includes S. cerevisiae Cdc10p and human Sept9) and Group 2 (which includes S. cerevisiae Cdc3p and human Sept7) contain sequences from fungi and animals. Group 3 (which includes S. cerevisiae Cdc11p) and Group 4 (which includes S. cerevisiae Cdc12p) contain sequences from fungi and microsporidia. Group 5 (which includes Aspergillus nidulans AspE) contains sequences from filamentous fungi. We suggest a modified nomenclature based on these phylogenetic relationships. Comparative sequence alignments revealed septin derivatives of already known G1, G3 and G4 GTPase motifs, four new motifs from two to twelve amino acids long and six conserved single amino acid positions. One of these new motifs is septin-specific and several are group specific.Our studies provide an evolutionary history for this important family of proteins and a framework and consistent nomenclature for comparison of septin orthologs across kingdoms.
Project description:Although most globins, including the N-terminal domains within chimeric proteins such as flavohemoglobins and globin-coupled sensors, exhibit a 3/3 helical sandwich structure, many bacterial, plant, and ciliate globins have a 2/2 helical sandwich structure. We carried out a comprehensive survey of globins in the genomes from the three kingdoms of life. Bayesian phylogenetic trees based on manually aligned sequences indicate the possibility of past horizontal globin gene transfers from bacteria to eukaryotes. blastp searches revealed the presence of 3/3 single-domain globins related to the globin domains of the bacterial and fungal flavohemoglobins in many bacteria, a red alga, and a diatom. Iterated psi-blast searches based on groups of globin sequences found that only the single-domain globins and flavohemoglobins recognize the eukaryote 3/3 globins, including vertebrate neuroglobins, alpha- and beta-globins, and cytoglobins. The 2/2 globins recognize the flavohemoglobins, as do the globin coupled sensors and the closely related single-domain protoglobins. However, the 2/2 globins and the globin-coupled sensors do not recognize each other. Thus, all globins appear to be distributed among three lineages: (i) the 3/3 plant and metazoan globins, single-domain globins, and flavohemoglobins; (ii) the bacterial 3/3 globin-coupled sensors and protoglobins; and (iii) the bacterial, plant, and ciliate 2/2 globins. The three lineages may have evolved from an ancestral 3/3 or 2/2 globin. Furthermore, it appears likely that the predominant functions of globins are enzymatic and that oxygen transport is a specialized development that accompanied the evolution of metazoans.