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BMC Evol Biol. 2015 Oct 26;15:230. doi: 10.1186/s12862-015-0511-1.

Evolution of the highly networked deubiquitinating enzymes USP4, USP15, and USP11.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. caitlyn.vlasschaert@gmail.com.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. caitlyn.vlasschaert@gmail.com.
3
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. caitlyn.vlasschaert@gmail.com.
4
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. Xuhua.Xia@uottawa.ca.
5
Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Ottawa, Canada. Xuhua.Xia@uottawa.ca.
6
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. jcoulombe@ohri.ca.
7
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. dgray@ohri.ca.
8
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. dgray@ohri.ca.
9
Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada. dgray@ohri.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

USP4, USP15 and USP11 are paralogous deubiquitinating enzymes as evidenced by structural organization and sequence similarity. Based on known interactions and substrates it would appear that they have partially redundant roles in pathways vital to cell proliferation, development and innate immunity, and elevated expression of all three has been reported in various human malignancies. The nature and order of duplication events that gave rise to these extant genes has not been determined, nor has their functional redundancy been established experimentally at the organismal level.

METHODS:

We have employed phylogenetic and syntenic reconstruction methods to determine the chronology of the duplication events that generated the three paralogs and have performed genetic crosses to evaluate redundancy in mice.

RESULTS:

Our analyses indicate that USP4 and USP15 arose from whole genome duplication prior to the emergence of jawed vertebrates. Despite having lower sequence identity USP11 was generated later in vertebrate evolution by small-scale duplication of the USP4-encoding region. While USP11 was subsequently lost in many vertebrate species, all available genomes retain a functional copy of either USP4 or USP15, and through genetic crosses of mice with inactivating mutations we have confirmed that viability is contingent on a functional copy of USP4 or USP15. Loss of ubiquitin-exchange regulation, constitutive skipping of the seventh exon and neural-specific expression patterns are derived states of USP11. Post-translational modification sites differ between USP4, USP15 and USP11 throughout evolution.

CONCLUSIONS:

In isolation sequence alignments can generate erroneous USP gene phylogenies. Through a combination of methodologies the gene duplication events that gave rise to USP4, USP15, and USP11 have been established. Although it operates in the same molecular pathways as the other USPs, the rapid divergence of the more recently generated USP11 enzyme precludes its functional interchangeability with USP4 and USP15. Given their multiplicity of substrates the emergence (and in some cases subsequent loss) of these USP paralogs would be expected to alter the dynamics of the networks in which they are embedded.

PMID:
26503449
PMCID:
PMC4624187
DOI:
10.1186/s12862-015-0511-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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