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J Mol Biol. 1999 Feb 12;286(1):279-90.

Domain dislocation: a change of core structure in periplasmic binding proteins in their evolutionary history.

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Laboratory for Gene Function Research, Center for Information Biology, Mishima, 411-8540, Japan.


Periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) serve as receptors for various water-soluble ligands in ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport systems, and form one of the largest protein families in eubacterial and archaebacterial genomes. They are considered to be derived from a common ancestor, judging from their similarities of three-dimensional structure, their mechanism of ligand binding and the operon structure of their genes. Nevertheless, there are two types of topological arrangements of the central beta-sheets in their core structures. It follows that there must have been differentiation in the core structure, which we call "domain dislocation", in the course of evolution of the PBP family. To find a clue as to when the domain dislocation occurred, we constructed phylogenetic trees for PBPs based on their amino acid sequences and three-dimensional structures, respectively. The trees show that the proteins of each type clearly cluster together, strongly indicating that the change in the core structure occurred only once in the evolution of PBPs. We also constructed a phylogenetic tree for the ABC proteins that are encoded by the same operon of their partner PBP, and obtained the same result. Based on the phylogenetic relationship and comparison of the topological arrangements of PBPs, we obtained a reasonable genealogical chart of structural changes in the PBP family. The present analysis shows that the unidirectional change of protein evolution is clearly deduced at the level of protein three-dimensional structure rather than the level of amino acid sequence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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