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Open AccessArticle

Biological Roles of Protein-Coding Tandem Repeats in the Yeast Candida Albicans

1
Centre for Professional and Continuing Education, Massey University, Palmerston North 4412, New Zealand
2
Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4412, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2018, 4(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4030078
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Adhesion in Fungal Life and Pathogenesis)
Tandem repeat (TR) DNA mutates faster than other DNA by insertion and deletion of repeats. Large parts of eukaryotic proteomes are encoded by ORFs containing protein-coding TRs (TR-ORFs, pcTRs) with largely unknown biological consequences. We explored these in the yeast Candida albicans, an opportunistic human pathogen. We found that almost half of C. albicans’ proteins are encoded by TR-ORFs. pcTR frequency differed only moderately between different gene (GO) categories. Bioinformatic predictions of genome-wide mutation rates and clade-specific differences in pcTR allele frequencies indicated that pcTRs (i) significantly increase the genome-wide mutation rate; (ii) significantly impact on fitness and (iii) allow the evolution of selectively advantageous clade-specific protein variants. Synonymous mutations reduced the repetitiveness of many amino acid repeat-encoding pcTRs. A survey, in 58 strains, revealed that in some pcTR regions in which repetitiveness was not significantly diminished by synonymous mutations the habitat predicted which alleles were present, suggesting roles of pcTR mutation in short-term adaptation and pathogenesis. In C. albicans pcTR mutation apparently is an important mechanism for mutational advance and possibly also rapid adaptation, with synonymous mutations providing a mechanism for adjusting mutation rates of individual pcTRs. Analyses of Arabidopsis and human pcTRs showed that the latter also occurs in other eukaryotes. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein coding DNA tandem repeats; mutation rate; proteome evolution; amino acid tandem repeats; Candida albicans; synonymous mutations; Red Queen’s race; contingency genes protein coding DNA tandem repeats; mutation rate; proteome evolution; amino acid tandem repeats; Candida albicans; synonymous mutations; Red Queen’s race; contingency genes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wilkins, M.; Zhang, N.; Schmid, J. Biological Roles of Protein-Coding Tandem Repeats in the Yeast Candida Albicans. J. Fungi 2018, 4, 78. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4030078

AMA Style

Wilkins M, Zhang N, Schmid J. Biological Roles of Protein-Coding Tandem Repeats in the Yeast Candida Albicans. Journal of Fungi. 2018; 4(3):78. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4030078

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wilkins, Matt; Zhang, Ningxin; Schmid, Jan. 2018. "Biological Roles of Protein-Coding Tandem Repeats in the Yeast Candida Albicans" J. Fungi 4, no. 3: 78. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4030078

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