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Selection shapes the robustness of ligand-binding amino acids


Bilgin, Tugce; Kurnaz, Isil Aksan; Wagner, Andreas (2013). Selection shapes the robustness of ligand-binding amino acids. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 76(5):343-349.

Abstract

The phenotypes of biological systems are to some extent robust to genotypic changes. Such robustness exists on multiple levels of biological organization. We analyzed this robustness for two categories of amino acids in proteins. Specifically, we studied the codons of amino acids that bind or do not bind small molecular ligands. We asked to what extent codon changes caused by mutation or mistranslation may affect physicochemical amino acid properties or protein folding. We found that the codons of ligand-binding amino acids are on average more robust than those of non-binding amino acids. Because mistranslation is usually more frequent than mutation, we speculate that selection for error mitigation at the translational level stands behind this phenomenon. Our observations suggest that natural selection can affect the robustness of very small units of biological organization.

Abstract

The phenotypes of biological systems are to some extent robust to genotypic changes. Such robustness exists on multiple levels of biological organization. We analyzed this robustness for two categories of amino acids in proteins. Specifically, we studied the codons of amino acids that bind or do not bind small molecular ligands. We asked to what extent codon changes caused by mutation or mistranslation may affect physicochemical amino acid properties or protein folding. We found that the codons of ligand-binding amino acids are on average more robust than those of non-binding amino acids. Because mistranslation is usually more frequent than mutation, we speculate that selection for error mitigation at the translational level stands behind this phenomenon. Our observations suggest that natural selection can affect the robustness of very small units of biological organization.

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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:21 May 2013
Deposited On:20 Jan 2014 09:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:22
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0022-2844
Additional Information:The final publication is available at link.springer.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00239-013-9564-1
PubMed ID:23689513

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