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Biosystems. 2010 Aug;101(2):127-35. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2010.05.005.

The role of internal duplication in the evolution of multi-domain proteins.

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Department of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Future University-Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan.


Many proteins consist of several structural domains. These multi-domain proteins have likely been generated by selective genome growth dynamics during evolution to perform new functions as well as to create structures that fold on a biologically feasible time scale. Domain units frequently evolved through a variety of genetic shuffling mechanisms. Here we examine the protein domain statistics of more than 1000 organisms including eukaryotic, archaeal and bacterial species. The analysis extends earlier findings on asymmetric statistical laws for proteome to a wider variety of species. While proteins are composed of a wide range of domains, displaying a power-law decay, the computation of domain families for each protein reveals an exponential distribution, characterizing a protein universe composed of a thin number of unique families. Structural studies in proteomics have shown that domain repeats, or internal duplicated domains, represent a small but significant fraction of genome. In spite of its importance, this observation has been largely overlooked until recently. We model the evolutionary dynamics of proteome and demonstrate that these distinct distributions are in fact rooted in an internal duplication mechanism. This process generates the contemporary protein structural domain universe, determines its reduced thickness, and tames its growth. These findings have important implications, ranging from protein interaction network modeling to evolutionary studies based on fundamental mechanisms governing genome expansion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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