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Mol Biol Evol. 2016 Dec;33(12):3170-3182. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Evolution of Protein Domain Repeats in Metazoa.

Author information

1
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Westfalian Wilhelms University, Huefferstrasse 1, Muenster, Germany.
2
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Westfalian Wilhelms University, Huefferstrasse 1, Muenster, Germany ebb@wwu.de.

Abstract

Repeats are ubiquitous elements of proteins and they play important roles for cellular function and during evolution. Repeats are, however, also notoriously difficult to capture computationally and large scale studies so far had difficulties in linking genetic causes, structural properties and evolutionary trajectories of protein repeats. Here we apply recently developed methods for repeat detection and analysis to a large dataset comprising over hundred metazoan genomes. We find that repeats in larger protein families experience generally very few insertions or deletions (indels) of repeat units but there is also a significant fraction of noteworthy volatile outliers with very high indel rates. Analysis of structural data indicates that repeats with an open structure and independently folding units are more volatile and more likely to be intrinsically disordered. Such disordered repeats are also significantly enriched in sites with a high functional potential such as linear motifs. Furthermore, the most volatile repeats have a high sequence similarity between their units. Since many volatile repeats also show signs of recombination, we conclude they are often shaped by concerted evolution. Intriguingly, many of these conserved yet volatile repeats are involved in host-pathogen interactions where they might foster fast but subtle adaptation in biological arms races. KEY WORDS: protein evolution, domain rearrangements, protein repeats, concerted evolution.

PMID:
27671125
PMCID:
PMC5100051
DOI:
10.1093/molbev/msw194
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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