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Signatures of selection acting on the innate immunity gene Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) during the evolutionary history of rodents


Tschirren, Barbara; Raberg, Lars; Westerdahl, Helena (2011). Signatures of selection acting on the innate immunity gene Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) during the evolutionary history of rodents. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24:1232-1240.

Abstract

Patterns of selection acting on immune defence genes have recently been the focus of considerable interest. Yet, when it comes to vertebrates, studies have mainly focused on the acquired branch of the immune system. Consequently, the direction and strength of selection acting on genes of the vertebrate innate immune defence remain poorly understood. Here, we present a molecular analysis of selection on an important receptor of the innate immune system of vertebrates, the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), across 17 rodent species. Although purifying selection was the prevalent evolutionary force acting on most parts of the rodent TLR2, we found that codons in close proximity to pathogen- binding and TLR2–TLR1 heterodimerization sites have been subject to positive selection. This indicates that parasite-mediated selection is not restricted to acquired immune system genes like the major histocompatibility complex, but also affects innate defence genes. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of evolutionary processes in host–parasite systems, both innate and acquired immunity thus need to be considered.

Patterns of selection acting on immune defence genes have recently been the focus of considerable interest. Yet, when it comes to vertebrates, studies have mainly focused on the acquired branch of the immune system. Consequently, the direction and strength of selection acting on genes of the vertebrate innate immune defence remain poorly understood. Here, we present a molecular analysis of selection on an important receptor of the innate immune system of vertebrates, the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), across 17 rodent species. Although purifying selection was the prevalent evolutionary force acting on most parts of the rodent TLR2, we found that codons in close proximity to pathogen- binding and TLR2–TLR1 heterodimerization sites have been subject to positive selection. This indicates that parasite-mediated selection is not restricted to acquired immune system genes like the major histocompatibility complex, but also affects innate defence genes. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of evolutionary processes in host–parasite systems, both innate and acquired immunity thus need to be considered.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 13:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:29
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1010-061X
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation, Swedish Research Council
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02254.x
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-73244

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