Apr 10, 2020

Class I Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase Urzyme and CP1 Modules have Distinct Genetic Origins

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Charles W CarterPeter R Wills


Phylogenetic arguments that the adaptive radiation of the Class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, aaRS, occurred after the genetic code had been extensively stabilized conflict with recent experimental data showing that ancestors of the two aaRS Classes arose on opposite strands of a single gene. The latter result necessarily implies that phylogenies for both Classes trace from a time when genetic coding used protein aaRS restricted to a far simpler amino acid alphabet. This conundrum resolves if transitions that increased the amino acid alphabet were achieved by accreting new genetic modules that today dominate the aaRS phylogenetic trees sufficiently to f0rce convergence to a more recent date than the ancestral (i.e. Urzyme) modules. We test this hypothesis by showing that the Urzymes and comparably conserved structures from the Connecting Peptide 1 (CP1) insertions present in all Class I aaRS, and which now dominate the mass of contemporary aaRS, have significantly different degrees of conservation and inconsistent phylogenetic trees. This work represents the first time that i) sophisticated structure-based alignment has been used to curate multiple sequence alignments identifying what is conserved across an entire protein super...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Calcinus elegans
Cyartonema elegans
Coleonyx elegans
Cestrum elegans
Clarkia unguiculata
Clathrulina elegans
Cardioglossa elegans
Cymbella elegans
Cyrenella elegans

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