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Large-Scale Analyses of Site-Specific Evolutionary Rates across Eukaryote Proteomes Reveal Confounding Interactions between Intrinsic Disorder, Secondary Structure, and Functional Domains

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
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Genes 2018, 9(11), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9110553
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 9 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Structure of Proteins and Proteomes)
Various structural and functional constraints govern the evolution of protein sequences. As a result, the relative rates of amino acid replacement among sites within a protein can vary significantly. Previous large-scale work on Metazoan (Animal) protein sequence alignments indicated that amino acid replacement rates are partially driven by a complex interaction among three factors: intrinsic disorder propensity; secondary structure; and functional domain involvement. Here, we use sequence-based predictors to evaluate the effects of these factors on site-specific sequence evolutionary rates within four eukaryotic lineages: Metazoans; Plants; Saccharomycete Fungi; and Alveolate Protists. Our results show broad, consistent trends across all four Eukaryote groups. In all four lineages, there is a significant increase in amino acid replacement rates when comparing: (i) disordered vs. ordered sites; (ii) random coil sites vs. sites in secondary structures; and (iii) inter-domain linker sites vs. sites in functional domains. Additionally, within Metazoans, Plants, and Saccharomycetes, there is a strong confounding interaction between intrinsic disorder and secondary structure—alignment sites exhibiting both high disorder propensity and involvement in secondary structures have very low average rates of sequence evolution. Analysis of gene ontology (GO) terms revealed that in all four lineages, a high fraction of sequences containing these conserved, disordered-structured sites are involved in nucleic acid binding. We also observe notable differences in the statistical trends of Alveolates, where intrinsically disordered sites are more variable than in other Eukaryotes and the statistical interactions between disorder and other factors are less pronounced. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolutionary rates; protein sequence; intrinsic disorder; structural prediction; Eukaryotes evolutionary rates; protein sequence; intrinsic disorder; structural prediction; Eukaryotes
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Ahrens, J.B.; Rahaman, J.; Siltberg-Liberles, J. Large-Scale Analyses of Site-Specific Evolutionary Rates across Eukaryote Proteomes Reveal Confounding Interactions between Intrinsic Disorder, Secondary Structure, and Functional Domains. Genes 2018, 9, 553.

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