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A protein function is carried out by a specific domain localized at a specific position. In the present study, we report that, within a gene, a specific amino acid sequence can move between a certain position and another position. This was discovered when the sequences of restriction-modification systems within the bacterial species Helicobacter pylori were compared. In the specificity subunit of Type I restriction-modification systems, DNA sequence recognition is mediated by target recognition domain 1 TRD1 and TRD2. To our surprise, several sequences are shared by TRD1 and TRD2 of genes alleles at the same locus chromosomal location; these domains appear to have moved between the two positions. The gene-protein organization can be represented as x-TRD1-y-x-TRD2-y, where x and y represent repeat sequences. Movement probably occurs by recombination at these flanking DNA repeats. In accordance with this hypothesis, recombination at these repeats also appears to decrease two TRDs into one TRD or increase these two TRDs to three TRDs TRD1-TRD2-TRD2 and to allow TRD movement between genes even at different loci. Similar movement of domains between TRD1 and TRD2 was observed for the specificity subunit of a Type IIG restriction enzyme. Similar movement of domain between TRD1 and TRD2 was observed for Type I restriction-modification enzyme specificity genes in two more eubacterial species, Streptococcus pyogenes and Mycoplasma agalactiae. Lateral domain movements within a protein, which we have designated DOMO domain movement, represent novel routes for the diversification of proteins.

Autor: Yoshikazu Furuta, Mikihiko Kawai, Ikuo Uchiyama, Ichizo Kobayashi



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