Common Phylogenetic Origin of Protamine-like (PL) Proteins and Histone H1: Evidence from Bivalve PL Genes

José M. Eirín-López, John D. Lewis, Le Ann Howe, Juan Ausió
2006 Molecular biology and evolution  
Sperm nuclear basic proteins (SNBPs) can be grouped into three main categories: histone (H) type, protamine (P) type, and protamine-like (PL) type. Protamine-like SNBPs represent the most structurally heterogeneous group, consisting of basic proteins which are rich in both lysine and arginine amino acids. The PL proteins replace most of the histones during spermiogenesis but to a lesser extent than the proteins of the P type. In most instances, PLs coexist in the mature sperm with a full
more » ... complement. The replacement of histones by protamines in the mature sperm is a characteristic feature presented by those taxa located at the uppermost evolutionary branches of protostome and deuterostome evolution, while the histone type of SNBPs is predominantly found in the sperm of taxa which arose early in metazoan evolution; giving rise to the hypothesis that protamines may have evolved through a PL type intermediate from a primitive histone ancestor. The structural similarities observed between PL and H1 proteins, which were first described in bivalve molluscs, provide a unique insight into the evolutionary mechanisms underlying SNBP evolution. Although the evolution of SNBPs has been exhaustively analyzed in the last 10 years, the origin of PLs in relation to the evolution of the histone H1 family still remains obscure. In this work, we present the first complete gene sequence for two of these genes (PL-III and PL-II/PL-IV) in the mussel Mytilus and analyze the protein evolution of histone H1 and SNBPs, and we provide evidence that indicates that H1 histones and PLs are the direct descendants of an ancient group of "orphon" H1 replication-dependent histones which were excluded to solitary genomic regions as early in metazoan evolution as before the differentiation of bilaterians. While the replication-independent H1 lineage evolved following a birth-and-death process, the SNBP lineage has been subject to a purifying process that shifted toward adaptive selection at the time of the differentiation of argininerich Ps. 1 These authors have contributed equally to this work.
doi:10.1093/molbev/msk021 pmid:16613862 fatcat:iotdxgsm6bd3vpvi72nrdgxsxu