Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Syst Biol. 2010 Jul 13;6:387. doi: 10.1038/msb.2010.43.

Evolutionary fates within a microbial population highlight an essential role for protein folding during natural selection.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA.

Abstract

Systems biology can offer a great deal of insight into evolution by quantitatively linking complex properties such as protein structure, folding, and function to the fitness of an organism. Although the link between diseases such as Alzheimer's and misfolding is well appreciated, directly showing the importance of protein folding to success in evolution has been more difficult. We show here that predicting success during adaptation can depend critically on enzyme kinetic and folding models. We used a 'weak link' method to favor mutations to an essential, but maladapted, adenylate kinase gene within a microbial population that resulted in the identification of five mutants that arose nearly simultaneously and competed for success. Physicochemical characterization of these mutants showed that, although steady-state enzyme activity is important, success within the population is critically dependent on resistance to denaturation and aggregation. A fitness function based on in vitro measurements of enzyme activity, reversible and irreversible unfolding, and the physiological context reproduces in vivo evolutionary fates in the population linking organismal adaptation to its physical basis.

PMID:
20631681
PMCID:
PMC2925523
DOI:
10.1038/msb.2010.43
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center