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General trends in the utilization of structural factors contributing to biological complexity.

Authors
  • Yang, Dong
  • Zhong, Fan
  • Li, Dong
  • Liu, Zhongyang
  • Wei, Handong
  • Jiang, Ying
  • He, Fuchu
Type
Published Article
Journal
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2012
Volume
29
Issue
8
Pages
1957–1968
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/molbev/mss064
PMID: 22328715
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

During evolution, proteins containing newly emerged domains and the increasing proportion of multidomain proteins in the full genome-encoded proteome (GEP) have substantially contributed to increasing biological complexity. However, it is not known how these two potential structural factors are preferentially utilized at given physiological states. Here, we classified proteins according to domain number and domain age and explored the general trends across species for the utilization of proteins from GEP to various certain-state proteomes (CSPs, i.e., all the proteins expressed at certain physiological states). We found that multidomain proteins or only older domain-containing proteins are significantly overrepresented in CSPs compared with GEP, which is a trend that is stronger in multicellular organisms than in unicellular organisms. Interestingly, the strengths of overrepresentation decreased during evolution of multicellular eukaryotes. When comparing across CSPs, we found that multidomain proteins are more overrepresented in complex tissues than in simpler ones, whereas no difference among proteins with domains of different ages is evident between complex and simple tissues. Thus, biological complexity under certain conditions is more significantly realized by diverse domain organization than by the emergence of new types of domain. In addition, we found that multidomain or only older domain-containing proteins tend to evolve slowly and generally are under stronger purifying selection, which may partly result from their general overrepresentation trends in CSPs.

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