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Comparative analysis of complete genomes reveals gene loss, acquisition and acceleration of evolutionary rates in Metazoa, suggests a prevalence of evolution via gene acquisition and indicates that the evolutionary rates in animals tend to be conserved.

Authors
  • Babenko, Vladimir N
  • Krylov, Dmitri M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nucleic Acids Research
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2004
Volume
32
Issue
17
Pages
5029–5035
Identifiers
PMID: 15448184
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In this study we systematically examined the differences between the proteomes of Metazoa and other eukaryotes. Metazoans (Homo sapiens, Ceanorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster) were compared with a plant (Arabidopsis thaliana), fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccaromyces pombe) and Encephalitozoan cuniculi. We identified 159 gene families that were probably lost in the Metazoan branch and 1263 orthologous families that were specific to Metazoa and were likely to have originated in their last common ancestor (LCA). We analyzed the evolutionary rates of pan-eukaryotic protein families and identified those with higher rates in animals. The acceleration was shown to occur in: (i) the LCA of Metazoa or (ii) independently in the Metazoan phyla. A high proportion of the accelerated Metazoan protein families was found to participate in translation and ribosome biogenesis, particularly mitochondrial. By functional analysis we show that no metabolic pathway in animals evolved faster than in other organisms. We conclude that evolution in the LCA of Metazoa was extensive and proceeded largely by gene duplication and/or invention rather than by modification of extant proteins. Finally, we show that the rate of evolution of a gene family in animals has a clear, but not absolute, tendency to be conserved.

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