Background: The lysine, threonine, and methionine biosynthetic pathways share the three initial enzymatic steps, which are referred to as the Common Pathway (CP). In Escherichia coli three different aspartokinases (AKI, AKII, AKIII, the products of thrA, metL and lysC, respectively) can perform the first step of the CP. Moreover, two of them (AKI and AKII) are bifunctional, carrying also homoserine dehydrogenasic activity (hom product). The second step of the CP is catalyzed by a single aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ASDH, the product of asd). Thus, in the CP of E. coli while a single copy of ASDH performs the same reaction for three different metabolic routes, three different AKs perfom a unique step. Why and how such a situation did emerge and maintain? How is it correlated to the different regulatory mechanisms acting on these genes? The aim of this work was to trace the evolutionary pathway leading to the extant scenario in proteobacteria. Results: The analysis of the structure, organization, phylogeny, and distribution of ask and hom genes revealed that the presence of multiple copies of these genes and their fusion events are restricted to the gamma-subdivision of proteobacteria. This allowed us to depict a model to explain the evolution of ask and hom according to which the fused genes are the outcome of a cascade of gene duplication and fusion events that can be traced in the ancestor of gamma-proteobacteria. Moreover, the appearance of fused genes paralleled the assembly of operons of different sizes, suggesting a strong correlation between the structure and organization of these genes. A statistic analysis of microarray data retrieved from experiments carried out on E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also performed. Conclusion: The integration of data concerning gene structure, organization, phylogeny, distribution, and microarray experiments allowed us to depict a model for the evolution of ask and hom genes in proteobacteria and to suggest a biological significance for the extant scenario.
On the origin and evolution of biosynthetic pathways: integrating microarray data with structure and organization of the Common Pathway genes / M. Fondi, M. Brilli, R. Fani. - In: BMC BIOINFORMATICS. - ISSN 1471-2105. - 8:suppl. 1(2007), pp. 1-14. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Annual Meeting of the Italian-Society-of-Bioinformatics tenutosi a Bologna nel 2006.
|Titolo:||On the origin and evolution of biosynthetic pathways: integrating microarray data with structure and organization of the Common Pathway genes|
|Parole Chiave:||Molecular evolution; sequence alignment; enzymes; bacteria; operon|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/19 - Microbiologia Generale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-8-S1-S12|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|