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Uncovering ancient transcription systems with a novel evolutionary indicator.

ABSTRACT: TBP and TFIIB are evolutionarily conserved transcription initiation factors in archaea and eukaryotes. Information about their ancestral genes would be expected to provide insight into the origin of the RNA polymerase II-type transcription apparatus. In obtaining such information, the nucleotide sequences of current genes of both archaea and eukaryotes should be included in the analysis. However, the present methods of evolutionary analysis require that a subset of the genes should be excluded as an outer group. To overcome this limitation, we propose an innovative concept for evolutionary analysis that does not require an outer group. This approach utilizes the similarity in intramolecular direct repeats present in TBP and TFIIB as an evolutionary measure revealing the degree of similarity between the present offspring genes and their ancestors. Information on the properties of the ancestors and the order of emergence of TBP and TFIIB was also revealed. These findings imply that, for evolutionarily early transcription systems billions of years ago, interaction of RNA polymerase II with transcription initiation factors and the regulation of its enzymatic activity was required prior to the accurate positioning of the enzyme. Our approach provides a new way to discuss mechanistic and system evolution in a quantitative manner.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4910066 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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