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Reference: Sawyer SL and Malik HS (2006) Positive selection of yeast nonhomologous end-joining genes and a retrotransposon conflict hypothesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103(47):17614-9

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Abstract


Transposable elements have clearly played a major role in shaping both the size and organization of eukaryotic genomes. However, the evolution of essential genes in core biological processes may also have been shaped by coevolution with these elements. This would be predicted to occur in instances where host proteins are either hijacked for use by mobile elements or recruited to defend against them. To detect such cases, we have used the Saccharomyces cerevisiae-Saccharomyces paradoxus sibling species pair to identify genes that have evolved under positive selection. We identify 72 such genes, which participate in a variety of biological processes but are enriched for genes involved in meiosis and DNA repair by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). We confirm the signature of positive selection acting on NHEJ genes using orthologous sequences from all seven Saccharomyces sensu stricto species. Previous studies have found altered rates of Ty retrotransposition when these NHEJ genes are disrupted. We propose that the evolution of these repair proteins is likely to have been shaped by their interactions with Ty elements. Antagonistic pleiotropy, where critical genes like those involved in DNA repair are also subject to selective pressures imposed by mobile elements, could favor alleles that might be otherwise deleterious for their normal roles related to genome stability.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Authors
Sawyer SL, Malik HS
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