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Regional effect on the molecular clock rate of protein evolution in Eutherian and Metatherian genomes

  • Huttener, Raf;
  • Thorrez, Lieven; 34791;
  • in't Veld, Thomas;
  • Potter, Barney; 140913;
  • Baele, Guy; 75702;
  • Granvik, Mikaela;
  • Van Lommel, Leentje;
  • Schuit, Frans; 40728;
Publication Date
Aug 04, 2021
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BACKGROUND: Different types of proteins diverge at vastly different rates. Moreover, the same type of protein has been observed to evolve with different rates in different phylogenetic lineages. In the present study we measured the rates of protein evolution in Eutheria (placental mammals) and Metatheria (marsupials) on a genome-wide basis and we propose that the gene position in the genome landscape has an important influence on the rate of protein divergence. RESULTS: We analyzed a protein-encoding gene set (n = 15,727) common to 16 mammals (12 Eutheria and 4 Metatheria). Using sliding windows that averaged regional effects of protein divergence we constructed landscapes in which strong and lineage-specific regional effects were seen on the molecular clock rate of protein divergence. Within each lineage, the relatively high rates were preferentially found in subtelomeric chromosomal regions. Such regions were observed to contain important and well-studied loci for fetal growth, uterine function and the generation of diversity in the adaptive repertoire of immunoglobulins. CONCLUSIONS: A genome landscape approach visualizes lineage-specific regional differences between Eutherian and Metatherian rates of protein evolution. This phenomenon of chromosomal position is a new element that explains at least part of the lineage-specific effects and differences between proteins on the molecular clock rates. / status: published

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