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Immunogenetics. 2013 Nov;65(11):811-21. doi: 10.1007/s00251-013-0729-2. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Dimorphisms of the proteasome subunit beta type 8 gene (PSMB8) of ectothermic tetrapods originated in multiple independent evolutionary events.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan.


The proteasome subunit beta type 8 gene (PSMB8) encodes one of the beta subunits of the immunoproteasome responsible for the generation of peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. Dimorphic alleles of the PSMB8 gene, termed A and F types, based on the deduced 31st amino acid residue of the mature protein have been reported from various vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of dichotomous ancient lineages, one comprising the F-type PSMB8 of basal ray-finned fishes, and the other comprising the A-type PSMB8 of these animals and both the F- and A-type PSMB8 of Xenopus and acanthopterygians, indicating that evolutionary history of the PSMB8 dimorphism was not straightforward. We analyzed the PSMB8 gene of five reptile and one amphibian species and found both the A and F types from all six. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the PSMB8 F type was apparently regenerated from the PSMB8 A type at least five times independently during tetrapod evolution. Genomic typing of wild individuals of geckos and newts indicated that the frequencies of the A- and F-type alleles are not highly biased in these species. Phylogenetic analysis of each exon of the reptile PSMB8 gene suggested interallelic sequence homogenization as a possible evolutionary mechanism for the apparent recurrent regeneration of PSMB8 dimorphism in tetrapods. An extremely strong balancing selection acting on PSMB8 dimorphism was implicated in an unprecedented pattern of allele evolution.

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