May 25, 2011

Genes in the terminal regions of orthopoxvirus genomes experience adaptive molecular evolution

BMC Genomics
David J Esteban, Anne P Hutchinson

Abstract

Orthopoxviruses are dsDNA viruses with large genomes, some encoding over 200 genes. Genes essential for viral replication are located in the center of the linear genome and genes encoding host response modifiers and other host interacting proteins are located in the terminal regions. The central portion of the genome is highly conserved, both in gene content and sequence, while the terminal regions are more diverse. In this study, we investigated the role of adaptive molecular evolution in poxvirus genes and the selective pressures that act on the different regions of the genome. The relative fixation rates of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations (the d(N)/d(S) ratio) are an indicator of the mechanism of evolution of sequences, and can be used to identify purifying, neutral, or diversifying selection acting on a gene. Like highly conserved residues, amino acids under diversifying selection may be functionally important. Many genes experiencing diversifying selection are involved in host-pathogen interactions, such as antigen-antibody interactions, or the "host-pathogen arms race." We analyzed 175 gene families from orthopoxviruses for evidence of diversifying selection. 79 genes were identified as experiencing diversifying s...Continue Reading

  • References47
  • Citations12

Mentioned in this Paper

Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Neutralising Antibodies Analysis
Immune Response
Immunomodulators
Cowpox virus
Recombinant Interleukin-18
Vaccinia virus
Carboxy-Terminal Amino Acid
Genome
Enzymes, antithrombotic

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